Teacher Candidate Perceptions of Urban Field Experiences


educator preparation programs
racial diversity
teacher candidate perceptions
clinical field experience
rural education
culturally-responsive practice
school culture

How to Cite

Smith, L., Farnan, S., Seeger, V., Wall, T., & Kiene, D. (2018). Teacher Candidate Perceptions of Urban Field Experiences. Educational Renaissance, 6(1), 10-25. https://doi.org/10.33499/edren.v6i1.105


This paper examines the impact of diverse clinical field experiences on rural teacher candidates’ perceptions of their ability to effectively teach urban, diverse students. The literature framework supporting the study builds on Nieto’s description of socially-just pedagogy and responsive approach to diversity while meeting national education program standards despite declining resources. Researchers gauged candidates’ perceptions of the impact of working with students from race, language and class backgrounds different from their own.  Findings revealed four significant impacts: increasing capacity to use culturally-relevant practice, boosting ability to differentiate for urban learners’ diverse needs, understanding the importance of strong relationships, and raising candidate self-efficacy and desire to teach in diverse schools. 



Ayers, W. (2004). Teaching toward freedom: Moral commitment and ethical action in the classroom. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Banaji, M. R. & Greenwald, A. G. (2013). Blind spot. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

Blankstein, A. M., & Noguera, P. (2016) Introduction: Achieving excellence through equity for

every student. In Excellence through equity (pp. 3-30). Alexandria, VA.

Boykin, A. W., & Noguera, P. (2011). Creating the opportunity to learn. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Buddin, R., & Zamarro, G. (2009). Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools. Journal of Urban Economics, 66(2), 103-115. doi:10.1016/


Burns, R., Keyes, M., & Kusimo, P. (2005). Closing achievement gaps by creating culturally

responsive schools. Charleston, WV: Edvantia.

Causey, V. E., Thomas, C. D., & Armento, B. J. (2000). Cultural diversity is basically a foreign

term to me. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(1), 33-45. doi:10.1016/


College of Education Diversity Survey for Teacher Candidates [Measurement instrument]. (n.d.).

Retrieved from https://www.utm.edu/departments/ncate/docs/DiversitySurvey


Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. (2016). 2013 CAEP standards. Retrieved from http://caepnet.org/standards/introduction

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research

(2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Snyder, J. (2015). Special series a new paradigm for educational accountability: Accountability for resources and outcomes. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(20–24), 1–5. doi:10.14507/epaa.v23.2024

Duncan, A. (2010). Teacher preparation: Reforming the uncertain profession. Education Digest, 75(5), 13–22. Retrieved from http://www.eddigest.com/

Emdin, C. (2016). For white folks who teach in the hood…and the rest of y’all too: Reality pedagogy and urban education. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Every student succeeds act of 2015. P. L. 114-95. Enacted S. 1177 (2015).

Fusch, P., & Ness, L. (2015). Are we there yet? Data saturation in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report. 20(9), 1408-1416. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 106-116. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/loi/jte

Goldstein, P., Warde, B., & Rody, C. (2013). Students with disabilities in general education classrooms: Implications for teacher preparation programs. Teacher Education and Practice, 26(3), 554–568. Retrieved from https://rowman.com/Scarecrow

Hairston, B. (2011). 2011-12 Culturally Responsive Teaching Survey Data Analysis and Planning [Measurement instrument]. Retrieved from https://www2.k12albemarle.org/


Hawley, W. D., & Nieto, S. (2010). Another inconvenient truth: Race and ethnicity. Education Leadership, 68(3), 66-71. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership.aspx

Individuals with disabilities education act of 1990. 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. (1990).

Izmirli, Ö. S., & Yurdakul, I. K. (2014). Investigation of prospective teachers' information and communication technology integration practices in terms of transformative learning theory.

Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 14(6), 2293. Retrieved from http://www.estp.com.tr/

Johnson, A. G. (2006). Privilege, power, and difference (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Kritzer, J. B., & Ziebarth-Bovill, J. (2012). Teaching diversity issues to pre-service teachers in rural settings. Eastern Education Journal, 41(1), 44-56. Retrieved from http://castle.eiu.edu/edjournal/Winter_2012/Diversity_Paper.pdf

Marxen, C., & Rudney, O. (1999). An urban field experience for rural preservice teachers: I’m not afraid--should I be? Teacher Education Quarterly, 26(1), 61-74. Retrieved from http://www.teqjournal.org/

National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Retrieved from https://www.edreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/A_Nation_At_Risk_1983.pdf

Nieto, S. (2000). Placing equity front and center: Some thoughts on transforming teacher education for a new century. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 180-187. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/home/jte

Nieto, S. (2003). What keeps teachers going? New York: Teachers College Press.

Nieto, S. (2006). Teaching as political work: Learning from courageous and caring teachers. Bronxville, NY: Sarah Lawrence College, Child Development Institute. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED497692

Nieto, S. (2012). A brief demographic portrait. Association of Mexican-American Educators Journal, 6(3), 36. Retrieved from http://amaejournal.wordpress.com/

Nieto, S., & Bode, P. (2012). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Nieto, S., Rivera, M., Quinones, S., & Irizarry, J. (2012). Conclusion and recommendations. Association of Mexican-American Educators Journal, 6(3), 32-36.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No.107-110

Noguera, P. A., Pierce, J. C., & Ahram, R. (2016). Race, education, and the pursuit of equity in the twenty-first century. Switzerland: Springer.

Northwest Missouri State University. (2007). Survey to determine teacher candidate bias [Measurement instrument].

O’Shea, D. J., & O’Shea, L. J. (1997). Collaboration and school reform: A twenty-first-century perspective. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 30(4), 449–462. doi:10.1177/

Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., Dutton, J., & Kleiner, A. (2012). Schools that learn. New York, NY: Random House.

Skrla, L., Scheurich, J. J., Garcia, J., & Nolly, G. (2004). Equity audits: A practical leadership tool for developing equitable and excellent schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 133–161. doi:10.1177/0013161X03259148

Spradley, J. (1980). Participant observation. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace.

State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2013). State standards for the preparation of educators (MoSPE). Jefferson City, MO: Author. Retrieved from https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/MoSPE20-400440OrderChanges11-2012.pdf

U. S. Department of Education. (2001). No Child Left Behind Act. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html

Vannest, K. J., Temple-Harvey, K. K., & Mason, B. A. (2009). Adequate yearly progress for students with emotional and behavior disorders through research-based practices. Preventing School Failure, 53(2), 73–84. doi:10.3200/PSFL.53.2.73-84

Yeo, F. (1999). The barriers of diversity: Multicultural education and rural schools. Multicultural Education, 7(1), 1–7. Retrieved from http://www.caddogap.com

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work 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.

    1. 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.

  1. 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).