Pre-service teacher education programs focus on pedagogy, often with little attention to the school environment. During internships, pre-service teachers experience unique school cultures without understanding that these vary, consequently, completing the internship with the mistaken notion that all schools are like their intern experiences. An assignment to help pre-service teachers understand the nature of schools drew upon The Truth About School Violence: Keeping Healthy Schools Safe, by Jared Scherz. Interns wrote about everyday situations they observed at their schools and linked these to elements of healthy schools identified by Scherz: adaptability, infrastructure, and climate. Students described and classified their observations and reactions to them in brief papers. The purpose of this paper is to describe how the students’ concept of schools as organizations developed. Participant responses were grouped into themes: negative qualities, positive qualities, personal insights/judgments, naiveté, and confusion. These themes reflected how notions about schools and self changed and developed.
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Holyoke, Laura and Fein, Albert H.
"Making Sense of Schools: Perceptions of Student Teacher Interns,"
Northwest Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 7
, Article 7.