Preservice Teacher Inquiry: Creating a Space to Dialogue about Becoming a Social Justice Educator

Jan. 15, 2007

Source: Teachers and Teaching Education, Volume 23, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 94-105

In this paper, we reflect on our experience with an experimental inquiry component within a teacher education program in a large urban city on the West Coast of the United States. This learning space, which is referred to as “Inquiry,” promotes the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge through reflection and dialogue. We highlight how this inquiry-oriented process enabled preservice teachers to reflect on and dialogue about existing ideals of social justice and equity with regard to teaching diverse learners.

This process acknowledges that alternative learning spaces in teacher education programs that address ways of observing, questioning, and inventing may well be a valuable strategy in the development of social justice educators. While the process is a valuable one, we offer a critical analysis of our own processes. In particular, we discuss the need for the creation and implementation of strategies that help pre-service teachers build their capacity to teach in diverse urban class.

Updated: Jun. 18, 2008