Preservice Teachers' Entering Beliefs and Preconceptions about Teaching for Social Justice




Ra, Sophia Sun

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The purpose of this mixed-method study was to explore preservice teachers' beliefs and preconceptions about teaching for social justice in two pathways to teacher licensure: a traditional, university-based teacher preparation program and an urban teacher residency (UTR) program. Participants were enrolled in a post-baccalaureate education program and beginning an initial licensure program (n(Traditional)=21); n(UTR)=20). Data collection included a survey, consisting of background questions and the Learning to Teach for Social Justice Belief (LTSJ-B) Scale created by Enterline, Cochran-Smith, Ludlow, and Mitescu (2008), and interviews with participants from each program (n(Traditional)=3; n(UTR)=6) who had the highest, middle, and lowest overall score on the LTSJ-B Scale. The objectives of this study were: (a) to better understand the beliefs and preconceptions of candidates from UTRs and traditional teacher preparation programs; and (b) to determine the need for additional research on differences that may exist. Survey and interview findings did not indicate large differences in preservice teachers’ endorsement to teach for social justice between the two pathways. Participants enrolled in the traditional program had a slightly lower average score (45.71, s = 5.01) than did the participants enrolled in the UTR program (47.75, s = 5.73). All participants held similar general beliefs and preconceptions about, and were beginning to endorse, teaching for social justice, but were unfamiliar with concepts such as democratic education, equity pedagogy, restructuring or systemic change, or critiquing power structures. Thus, further research on how to better align with preservice teacher's entering and developing beliefs and preconceptions about teaching for social justice is imperative.



Teacher education, Education, Equity, Preservice, Social Justice, Teacher Education, Teaching for Social Justice, Urban Teacher Residency