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Creating a Model of Acceptance: Preservice Teachers Interact With Non-English-Speaking Latino Parents Using Culturally Relevant Mathematics and Science Activities at Family Learning Events


"The following describes a culturally relevant mathematics and science content program implemented by preservice teachers (PSTs) at Family Math/Science Learning Events (FM/SLEs) conducted through two different university programs in south Texas. These experiences are required course activities designed to inform PSTs of the importance of interacting with Latino families' culture and language in after school settings. Data were collected from elementary PSTs attending FMLEs and include interactions recorded during the FMLE and interviews with Latino non-English-speaking parents after the event. Anecdotal data were also included from parents' interviews collected during culturally relevant Family Science Learning Events. Researchers investigated the following questions: (1) what did Latino parents and PSTs report learning from the FMLE and, (2) how do perceptions toward Latino parents change when PSTs are given the opportunity to interact with and interview Latino parents? Results show that PSTs perceptions of Latino parents can be changed through these events. Implications for teacher preparation programs include providing PSTs with opportunities for participation in FM/SLEs that incorporate planning and teaching culturally relevant math and science activities. The following model of acceptance requires PSTs to identify and reconstruct misconceptions and perceptions of parents, especially non-English-speaking Latino parents."