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Conference Proceeding

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Since the mid-1980's there has been a renewed interest in progressive approaches to the education of intending teachers1. In the context of this progressive teacher education activity, several distinct, but related, ideas converge and become the theoretical base for teacher education practices involving (community) service learning.2 Among these ideas are renewed interest in authentic field experiences, multicultural education, child advocacy, democratic education, social justice, school reform efforts, autobiography and teacher thinking, and an emphasis on community service in K-12 education. In addition, teacher educators increasingly recognize the gap between the backgrounds of those who intend to teach and those whom these new teachers will teach. In other words, teacher educators are concerned that preservice teachers in their programs are predominately white, middle class, women while many teaching positions are in either urban or rural areas working with minority children or children living in poverty. Most teacher educators who write about their work with service learning cite some combination of these ideas and concerns as reasons for their work.


Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association Chicago, IL March 26, 1997.