The University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) is featured in the new book Inspiring Teaching: Preparing Teachers to Succeed in Mission-Driven Schools as a highly successful program designed to prepare educators for lifelong careers in urban education. Editors Sharon Feiman-Nemser, Eran Tamir, and Karen Hammerness (each leading teacher educators and scholars) investigate the "context-specific" approach to teacher education through a detailed comparative analysis of three selective, mission-driven teacher education programs serving urban, Catholic, and Jewish schools. The editors show how programs like these can help teachers develop the understanding, commitment, tools, and strategies they need to teach in specific settings.
In their chapter, Kavita Kapadia Matsko and Karen Hammerness' description of UTEP's approach to teacher preparation provides insight into how various aspects of the Chicago context hold important content for aspiring teachers to understand as part of the preparation process. Their case, along with the others in the book, demonstrates ways teacher educators might help their candidates attend to the particulars of local surroundings and deepen their knowledge about the children, families, and communities they will serve.
"UTEP explicitly promotes teaching as intellectual work that requires nuanced understanding of the context, subject-matter expertise, extensive clinical and pedagogical training, and knowledge of self. Toward that end, several themes of inquiry are embedded in an interdisciplinary manner into the UTEP curriculum. These inquiries result in exploration of self, children, practice, and of social-justice oriented teaching." (p. 19)
"[UTEP] nurtures students' stances toward social justice as well as provides support to learn teaching practices that operationalize that commitment.....the practices that the program values are not urban or even Chicago specific, per se, instead the program cultivates particular perspectives and skills in light of knowledge gained from the Chicago context that makes their enactment content specific." (p. 28)
To purchase visit: http://hepg.org/hep-home/books/inspiring-teaching