Re-Thinking the Student Teaching Curriculum: Using Field-Based Instruction to Help Candidates Notice, Acknowledge, and Address Bias in the Classroom


We aim to determine the impact on teacher candidates’ beliefs and skills as a result of curricular revisions to the student teaching practicum. As full-time field instructors (student teaching supervisors), we have noticed a growing need to address student teachers’ lack of awareness and understanding around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in a schooling context. We have developed a revised student teaching curriculum that helps teacher candidates promote positive racial identity development (candidates’ and their pupils’), explore one’s own bias (via implicit bias tests), learn more about how bias and discrimination is experienced in schools (full-day PD, online modules, expert community-based panel event), and helps candidates make sense of their teaching experiences (reflective activities, inquiry group participation, and post-lesson observation debriefing sessions). We used a mixed-methods design to assess the change in candidates’ beliefs and the development of their skills to notice, acknowledge, and address bias and discrimination in the classroom during their 12-week full time student teaching experience (Spring Semester 2017). Quantitative data was collected through the use of a pre/post survey using Marilyn Cochran-Smith’s Learning to Teach for Social Justice-Beliefs (LTSJB) scale (2008). Quantitative pre/post data came from scenario-response scores to assess candidates’ analyses of written classroom scenarios, submitted during their weekly journal reflection activities. Qualitative data was collected from typical assignments and activities that occurred during student teaching via online reflective journal responses, field notes from lesson observations and post-lesson observation debriefing conferences.

Author Information
Elizabeth Soslau, University of Delaware, United States
Nicholas Bell, University of Delaware, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2017
Stream: Education: social justice and social change

This paper is part of the ECE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon