Adam Huck: 0000-0001-7235-0008




Environmental factors, personal experience, and social interactions influence the development of teacher candidates’ views of teachers’ roles in school and society (Rose, Monda-Amaya, & Preast, 2018). This is especially true when we consider the unique needs of each generation of teachers. Ecological systems theory and social cognitive theory frame this study as teacher candidates are the product of their personal experiences and social interactions within an education system that must respond to evolving societal needs.

This paper presents a descriptive analysis of two sections of a literacy methods course through the study of reflection journals, survey data, and exit interviews. Themes and patterns were identified within teacher candidates’ responses (Glesne, 2011). Findings demonstrated that teacher candidates exhibited concerns and fears for not only their professional growth, but also the academic and emotional development of their students. The research occurred in the context of a Professional Development School (PDS) in an urban setting. The first section of the course identified the site’s open classroom layout as a physical safety concern due to the rising prevalence of school violence from internal and external sources. The second section identified support structures for teachers and students that demonstrated a concern for emotional safety. This study highlights the need to recognize teacher candidates’ unique generational experiences and their desires for safety and collaboration as part of their professional development as educators.



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