Constructing a Knowledge Base Across Classroom Contexts: Pre-service Teachers Assess Language and Literacy in an Urban Head Start Program

  • Susan Browne
  • Marjorie Madden


The purpose of this chapter is to focus on a partnership between the Center for Family Services Head Start in Camden New Jersey and Rowan University Early Childhood majors. As a service to the preschool and to engage in real-life learning, candidates administered early-literacy assessments to 90 children enrolled at the Pine Street Head Start. The project provided candidates with authentic experiences, wherein they examined the range of literacy skills demonstrated by the children. The project goal was to provide external assessments to assist Head Start teachers in preparing preschoolers for the requirements of Common Core State Standards.


  1. Blanchett, W. (2006). Disproportionate representation of African American students in special education: Acknowledging the role of White privilege and racism. Educational Researcher, 35(6), 24–28.Google Scholar
  2. Brownell, M., & Skrtic, T. M. (2005). Assuring an adequate supply of well qualified teachers to improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities. Invited testimony presented to the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education.Google Scholar
  3. Clay, M. (2006). An observation survey of early literacy achievement. Auckland, NZ: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  4. Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Retrieved from
  5. Ford, B. (2004). Preparing special educators for culturally responsive school–community partnerships. Teacher Education and Special Education, 27(3), 224–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gainer, J. S., & Larrotta, C. (2010). Reproducing and interrupting subtractive schooling in teacher education. Multicultural Education, 17(3), 41–47.Google Scholar
  7. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  8. Ginsberg, M. B. (2015). Making diverse classrooms safer for learning. Culturally Diverse Classrooms, 72(6). Retrieved from
  9. Gorski, P. C., & Swalwell, K. (2015). Equity literacy for all. Educational Leadership, 72, 34–40.Google Scholar
  10. Hein, J. (2004). Color-Blindness vs. race matters: Pre-school education and the need for a communal vision. Multicultural Education, 11(4), 51–53.Google Scholar
  11. Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the achievement gap to the educational debt: Understanding achievement in U.S. schools. Educational Researcher, 35(7), 3–12.Google Scholar
  12. Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dream keepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  13. Mickelson, R. A. (2014). The problem of the color lines in twenty-first century sociology of education: Researching and theorizing demographic change, segregation, and school outcomes. Social Currents, 1(2), 157–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Murrell, P. C. (2000). Community teachers: A conceptual framework for preparing exemplary urban teachers. Journal of Negro Education, 69(4), 338–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Government Printing Office. (2007). Early childhood longitudinal survey of kindergarten. Retrieved from
  16. National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). Teacher attrition and mobility: Results from the 2012–13 Teacher Follow-up Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  17. Sobel, D., Gutierrez, C., Zion, S., & Blanchett, W. (2011). Deepening culturally responsive understandings within a teacher preparation program: It’s a process. Teacher Development, 15(4), 435–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2012). White racial identity development: Therapeutic implications. In D. W. Sue & D. Sue (Eds.), Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (pp. 313–340). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  19. Teaching Strategies, Inc. (2016). The creative curriculum for preschool. [Kit]. Bethesda, MD: Teaching Strategies.Google Scholar
  20. Villegas, A. M. (2002). Preparing culturally responsive teachers: Rethinking the curriculum. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 20–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Browne
    • 1
  • Marjorie Madden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural EducationRowan UniversityStratfordUSA

Personalised recommendations