Main Article Content
Teacher candidates today are likely to blame students and their families in underserved communities for their inability to succeed in school rather than recognize the system of failure embedded in institutional practices that disfavors and disenfranchises minority groups (Castro 2010, p. 207). In particular, many tend to view students’ literacy and language abilities as delayed, often because they assume that students’ caregivers do not have the requisite skills, knowledge, time, or desire to provide their children with school-valued print and language experiences. These deficit orientations of students and families need to be replaced with more informed understandings about the socio-political factors that shape schooling and access to school-valued literacies and languages, and more critical awareness of the types of cultural wealth that exist in these communities (Yosso, 2005). Such inquiry is needed to help candidates to see students’ inherent assets and their own roles in addressing students’ literacy/language needs. This article examines one university’s efforts to complicate teacher candidates’ understandings of children and caregivers through a course called “Literacy, Language & Culture.” Data collected over a two-year period with 191 candidates shows that many teacher candidates can evolve to see children’s literacy and language capacities to varying degrees and their own responsibility in fortifying instruction for students and connecting with caregivers, but that more focused and coordinated work is required to make this a uniform goal across teacher preparation programs.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work one year after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).