, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 85-109

Preparing Elementary Preservice Teachers for Urban Elementary Science Classrooms: Challenging Cultural Biases Toward Diverse Students

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Abstract

This study reports the learning of elementary preservice teachers regarding diversity and teaching science in diverse urban elementary classrooms. From participating in a semester-long book club, the preservice teachers reveal their cultural biases, connect and apply their knowledge of diversity, and understand that getting to know their students are important elements for teaching science in diverse classrooms. These 3 things connect in ways that allow the preservice teachers to understand how their cultural biases impede student learning and gain new knowledge of diversity as they change their cultural biases. Implications of this study reveal that preservice teachers need opportunities to reveal, confront, challenge, and change their cultural models and to develop new models for teaching science in urban elementary classrooms.