Publication 5227

Kaufman D. & Grennon Brooks J. (1996) Interdisciplinary collaboration in teacher education: A constructivist approach. TESOL Quarterly 30(2): 231–251. Fulltext at
Teacher education programs must begin to foster in beginning teachers of all disciplines new images of collaboration, involvement, and inquiry – images of classroom environments where students of all cultures engage in interdisciplinary activities and construct knowledge rooted in their own personal experiences. The high number of language minority students who score below the national norm in mathematics and science and avoid careers in these areas underscores the fact that uncoordinated instruction has had negative ramifications on the academic success of these students. Collaboration between ESOL teachers and teachers of other subject areas is imperative. Teacher education programs must reevaluate current pedagogical orientations and reorganize to prepare teacher candidates of all disciplines for coordinated interdisciplinary education for all students. This article describes the evolution of a collaborative initiative involving undergraduate and graduate students in two teacher education programs at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. This collaboration, motivated by constructivist approaches, integrates language pedagogy and science instruction. It is based on the premise that if teachers are to collaborate in schools and create enhanced interdisciplinary classroom environments that better foster students’ linguistic and academic growth, they must experience such pedagogy in teacher education programs at the university.

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