Existent literature purports that providing White teacher candidates with increased exposure to urban schools in order to create culturally competent educators has failed. These findings reflect the notion that teacher ideologies and overall perspectives about working with diverse student groups must be harnessed in a genuine ethic of care and intentionality for students of color. However, few studies have taken the approach of examining the development of culturally relevant pedagogy through context-specific field experiences using content-specific courses. This study examines the perspectives of twenty-five White pre-service teachers from a predominately White, private university regarding their initial perceptions and gained conceptual understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy while teaching reading at an urban middle school. Findings were consistent with previous literature that White pre-service teachers are more interested and comfortable teaching in suburban and private schools and held implicit about teaching in urban schools. However, through the course and urban field experience, pre-service teachers were able to develop teaching behaviors that were deemed culturally relevant(Ladson-Billings, 1995) for teaching reading, and were better prepared to work with students from diverse backgrounds.



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