Baptized by Fire: A Narrative Study of Two White Females Transitioning from Student to Teacher in an Urban School Context
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Preparing pre-service teachers to work in urban schools requires a unique set of skills, practices, and social considerations. This study examines the deeply held beliefs and attitudes – that is, the personal practical knowledge – of undergraduate pre-service teachers, specifically White women, as they transition into their first year of teaching in order to make sense of their cultural identities and development when in prolonged settings of cultural mismatch. The goal is to share their stories and illuminate the personal development and growth that occurs in their cultural assumptions and beliefs while transitioning from being a pre-service teacher to leading a classroom of their own. Using a narrative inquiry as a research method, this study examines the transition from student to teacher. Through a series of semi-structured interviews as well as weekly reflective journaling writing, participants delved into issues of cultural conflict, cultural competence, and the mediation of cultural conflict as White females in an urban school context. Entrenched in this study are themes of identity development, self-efficacy development, cultural growth in competence, and storied metaphors capturing the transition. The findings of this work provide insights into pre-service teacher education, specifically related to preparing future teachers for diverse classrooms, and providing an experiential account of teacher induction which can be used to strengthen both pre-service teacher education and teacher induction practices in diverse, urban settings.
Meister, Samantha Marie (2018). Baptized by Fire: A Narrative Study of Two White Females Transitioning from Student to Teacher in an Urban School Context. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from