After completing my student teaching in a second and third grade classroom in an inner-city elementary school in Chicago, Illinois, I developed many questions about the complexities of teaching poor, urban minority students. Through qualitative research, I discovered the importance of engaging in honest, open dialogue and establishing connections with parents in the community in order to gain students’ trust and advocate for their success. In addition to my qualitative research, my experience in Chicago inspired me to examine the topic of urban education further through an independent study in which I researched alternative education methods through the lens of urban teaching. This study led me to create a syllabus for a college course on urban education that would sufficiently address the skills and knowledge required to succeed as a teacher in inner-city schools. Through a review of relevant literature and my own experiences, this presentation explores the challenges of urban school systems as well as strategies for empowering underprivileged students in primary grades to succeed in school by equipping future teachers with knowledge of the specific needs of urban students.
Kaleigh Boysen, ’08 Murrieta, CA
Major: Elementary Education
Sponsor: Stephanie Mackler