Understanding Urban Students through Self-exploration

By Meg White, Corine Meredith Brown and Connie Schaffer.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 28, 2015 $US5.00

One of the challenges in urban education is the notion that an effective teacher has philosophical, cultural, and contextual understanding of diversity among students in their classrooms, while maintaining emphasis on the varied academic needs of students in urban settings. The preponderance of research in urban education focuses on the teachers and how they should teach urban students. The focus of our research is that we must first look at ourselves, and then our students before we begin to consider how to approach teaching these students. How do we build a classroom of learners in an urban school? Our work suggests that first we look beyond the preconceived notions we have about urban children, and look closer into ourselves for hidden biases. Only then can we begin to genuinely know about our students and understand how to be more effective educators in urban classrooms. Training pre-service teachers to know and understand their students becomes an imperative for any teacher preparation program designed to recruit and train effective urban educators. As teacher educators, our research supports the need look at who we are and who we teach, further contributing to a body of research that suggests and supports best teaching practices.

Keywords: Learner Diversity, Inclusive Education, Learning in Higher Education

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2015, pp.9-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 28, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 555.889KB)).

Dr. Meg White

Assistant Professor, School of Education, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, New York, NY, USA

Dr. Corine Meredith Brown

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Rowan University, New York, NY, USA

Dr. Connie Schaffer

Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA