Presentation Title

From Apprehension to Appreciation: The Culture Walk Journey

Advisor Information

Connie Schaffer

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

7-3-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

7-3-2014 4:00 PM

Abstract

Demographic trends show that the most significant growth, and therefore greatest need for teachers, will be in schools in an urban setting. However, pre-service teachers often report feeling unprepared, and show low confidence in their ability to teach in an urban environment (Mason, 1999; Schaffer, 2012). Taking a pre-emptive approach to this issue, the College of Education Teacher Education Department (TED) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha developed the Culture Walk Experience. Before TED students begin their required 40 hours of urban field experience at their assigned schools, they are split into three groups and assigned a five-hour introductory session to one of three urban centers in the city: North, South and Central Omaha. During this time, students interact with a panel of area representatives to learn about the community, sample local cuisine, and are introduced to a variety of local community centers. The intent of this experience isn’t just to break down preconceived notions of that particular urban area, but also for students to discover the community first-hand, with their own fresh perspective, free of third-party or media bias. This experience affords our college students a broader understanding of the cultural concerns and sensitivities needed to teach minority populations, and empowers students with the knowledge and skill sets to create a more effective, welcoming learning environment. To recognize the 5th anniversary of the Culture Walk, I organized a public exhibit, using qualitative and quantitative data, to display the positive impact this experience has had on the student population.

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Mar 7th, 1:00 PM Mar 7th, 4:00 PM

From Apprehension to Appreciation: The Culture Walk Journey

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Demographic trends show that the most significant growth, and therefore greatest need for teachers, will be in schools in an urban setting. However, pre-service teachers often report feeling unprepared, and show low confidence in their ability to teach in an urban environment (Mason, 1999; Schaffer, 2012). Taking a pre-emptive approach to this issue, the College of Education Teacher Education Department (TED) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha developed the Culture Walk Experience. Before TED students begin their required 40 hours of urban field experience at their assigned schools, they are split into three groups and assigned a five-hour introductory session to one of three urban centers in the city: North, South and Central Omaha. During this time, students interact with a panel of area representatives to learn about the community, sample local cuisine, and are introduced to a variety of local community centers. The intent of this experience isn’t just to break down preconceived notions of that particular urban area, but also for students to discover the community first-hand, with their own fresh perspective, free of third-party or media bias. This experience affords our college students a broader understanding of the cultural concerns and sensitivities needed to teach minority populations, and empowers students with the knowledge and skill sets to create a more effective, welcoming learning environment. To recognize the 5th anniversary of the Culture Walk, I organized a public exhibit, using qualitative and quantitative data, to display the positive impact this experience has had on the student population.