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Understanding the Impacts of Service Learning in Preservice Teacher Preparation
The purpose of this project was to examine service learning (SL) in preservice teacher (PST) preparation. California State University, Sacramento and San José State University child development faculty and their community partners have common SL goals for PSTs: career development, commitment to working with diverse learners, and civic engagement.
Faculty worked with staff, students and community/school to collect, analyze and interpret data and to disseminate findings. They also met with the community partners to discuss specific implications for improving PST preparation programs. As a result, many teachers and community supervisors revised SL responsibilities and assignments.
The most dramatic impacts were found for community-based placements, which enhanced PSTs’ development in skills not well supported in school placements. The project results have led to refinement of SL content, goals and placements. The collaboration, while promoting faculty development in SL pedagogy and research, also offers direction for SL for CSU campuses and their partners to promote PST preparation that integrates placements aligned with common goals.
Susan Gomez, Child Development
California State University, Sacramento
Ana Garcia-Nevarez, California State University, Sacramento
Amy Strage, San José State
Key words: teacher education, K-6 schools, civic engagement, Sacramento, Northern California