Exploring preservice teachers' K-12 educational experiences and related beliefs
Rohde, Lisa Ann
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Schools are becoming increasingly diverse environments; however, the teacher population has remained unchanged for years. This present study aims to gather further information on preservice teachers’ K-12 school experiences and to explore if and how these experiences may impact and influence their beliefs and actions toward future students. Participants included preservice teachers at two large state universities in the Southeast, including both those in undergraduate and M.A.T. teacher education programs. This mixed methods study asked all participants to complete a survey instrument detailing their K-12 school experiences. A smaller sample of participants completed interviews to further explore these experiences and to gather their beliefs about students using cartoon vignettes. The results of this study indicate that the great majority of participants had particularly positive school experiences, were generally very successful students, and had little positive experience with ethnic diversity as K-12 students. Their past experiences were related to their actions and beliefs toward the struggling or misbehaving students in the vignettes, especially when the student portrayed was a person of color.