Through the Fire – From Intake to Credential

Teacher Candidates Share Their Experiences through Narrative


By applying an auto-ethnographic approach in this volume to share and explore the experiences of prospective teachers as they navigate the preparation and credentialing processes of teacher education, we – as those who have gone before the future educators in this text and those who will come behind them, gain first hand insights from these young women and men about what it means and how to better prepare prospective educators to become a teacher against a backdrop of historical inequities in schooling and prepared for the multi-culturally diverse classrooms of today. Teacher educators, school and community leaders, and others committed to pushing toward more equitable social domains and forms of living and learning hence would do well to take up the opportunity provided in this text to learn from the narratives included in this volume and those of other teacher candidates; indeed, the narratives of teacher candidates herein and elsewhere are, in part, reflections of ourselves as teacher educators and evaluations of our work in teacher education and the professional preparation of those who will carry on our professions after us and for rising generations. What we as teacher educators teach, or think we are teaching, in teacher preparation courses may, or may not, be what prospective teachers are learning about being a teacher and successful teaching and learning for all learners, particularly those students historically underserved.

Each of the prospective educators who share their narratives in this volume are striving to become critical educators capable of promoting equitable educational and social opportunities, outcomes, and experiences for all learners. While their journeys are each distinctive and unique to them personally, the teacher candidates who share their narratives in this volume highlight some of the challenges and opportunities they have encountered in teacher preparation courses to learn about the functioning of social structures that sustain society’s existing hierarchies and develop the skills and knowledge requisite to identify, implement, and assess critical learning strategies aimed at challenging inequities and promoting more inclusive forms of education. Specifically, these future teachers included in this volume are sharing with us, their readers, their attempts at learning to unhook from Whiteness and to disrupt the pernicious and historical school-to-prison pipeline that has long existed in the US between the nation’s prison system and schools serving learners and their families and communities identified as racially not White, economically poor, and otherwise not members of the White, middle-class, primary English speaking, heterosexual, patriarchal mainstream.

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Biographical Note
Cleveland Hayes, Ph.D., is a Professor of Education Foundations at Indiana University Indianapolis. At Indiana University – Indianapolis, Dr. Hayes teaches science in the elementary school, education foundations and qualitative studies in education. He is also affiliated with Africana studies and teaches various courses.

Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Ph.D., is the Shirley B. Barton Endowed Associate Professor at Louisiana State University. Varner’s areas of scholarly expertise and interest center on the intersections of identity in globalized contexts. Varner examines the nature of White Racial Identity (WRI), Critical Race Theory (CRT), and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.

Hillary Eisworth received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She is currently an instructor of early childhood education at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include teacher preparation and multicultural education.

Kimberly White-Smith, Ed.D., is Professor of Education and Dean at the University of La Verne’s LaFetra College of Education (LFCE). University of Southern California (Ed.D, Learning and Instruction, 2004), Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, 1995) and the University of California at Berkeley (B.A., Psychology, 1994).
Table of contents
Brenda G. Harris An Example of Critical Teaching Enacted in the Classroom of Luis-Genro Garcia
Notes on the Authors

1 What Is Going on in Teacher Education in the United States
 An Introduction
 The Educational Testing Complex
 A Tale of Two Schools
 Through the Fire: This Book Project
 The Importance of This Volume
 Reading This Book

2 Tried and True Geoffrey Jaynes

3 Bianca: New Footprints on the Well-Trodden Path
 The Authorsf Response to Bianca

4 Cecilia: Wisdom Is Earned through Experience

5 Covington: A Journey through the Hundred Acre Wood
 The Credential Program: A Journey through the Process
 Education and Common Core
 Words of Wisdom
 Moving through Difficult Situations
 The Credential Program and My Ability to Teach
 Why I Teach
 My Teaching Philosophy: Then and Now
 My Experiences: A Learning Curve
 My Future Classroom
 My Goal as a Teacher: A Conclusion

6 George: The Last 100 Meters
 The History Teacher
 The Ever-Evolving School
 Beginning the Race
 Life as a Teacher Candidate
 Finishing the Race

7 Hillary: Teaching Is a Lifestyle

8 Jasmime: What Teacher Educators Can Learn from Teacher Candidates

9 Ximaroa: All Things Considered

10 Miquel: The Great Emancipator of Education

11 Owen: Is Math that Terrible?

12 Vijay: Education and the Pursuit of Happiness

13 Wade: A Teacherfs Last Step Before Game Time
 14 Mary: The Bell Rings c The Journey Begins

15 Kaitlyn: Three Things I Learned During My Student Teaching Experience
 Student Teaching Is Like Living with a Roommate
 Learn to Emulate or Do the Opposite of Your Mentor
 The Toughest Experiences Present You with the Greatest Learning Opportunities
 What It Is All about

16 Lauren and Patricia: An Elementary Prison

17 Jordan and Catherine: Realizations about Classroom Environment

18 Through the Fire: A Critical Race Perspective toward Preparing Critical Educators
 Educational Slavery Today
 The Good News

All interested in improving teacher education. The narratives constructed in this volume. The book could be use in any introduction to teaching class, elementary and secondary methods, as well as qualitative research methods.
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