Social Science Pre-Service Teachers' Preparation to Teach About Asia: A Research Study

Joshua L Kenna, Cyndi Mottola Poole

Abstract


Asia is the world’s largest continent, both in terms of land mass and human population; yet, many of the schools in the United States still embrace a Eurocentric curriculum, and resultantly, U.S. citizens remain largely ignorant about topics pertaining to Asian nations including their geography, histories, politics, economics, religions, and cultures. The ignorance is particularly troubling considering the ever-increasing prominence that Asian nations play in global affairs. A crucial first step in broadening students’ knowledge about Asian topics would be to improve the preparation of pre-service teachers, due to the influence that teachers have in determining students’ educational experiences. Therefore, this phenomenological study sought to inquire about the shared experiences that a group of Social Science Education (SSE) seniors had, at a large public university located in the southeastern region of the United States, with regards to how they felt their program prepared them to teach accurately and confidently about topics and issues related to Asia. It was discovered that although the pre-service teachers within the SSE program expressed great confidence in the pedagogical skills they acquired through their teacher education program, they felt their lack of subject knowledge made them ill prepared to teach about Asian related content.

Keywords


global education, pre-service teachers, United States, Asia

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