Identity meets pedagogy: cultivating introspective awareness to positively influence the professional practice of pre-service teachers





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This study examines pre-service teachers' descriptions of their experiences using autobiographical and critical reflective practice to examine their attitudes and beliefs connected to teaching, learning, and culturally relevant pedagogy in a diverse field placement. The purpose of this study is to explore how a critical look at one's own cultural identity and paradigm of practice could build confidence in pre-service teacher identity, and perpetuate success in the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy with ethnically, racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse students. The purpose of the study is to support the necessary changes in teacher education programs to equip future educators for greater academic success with diverse students. A qualitative methodological framework was used to collect and analyze data through critical and autobiographical reflection, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis of several course assignments. Four themes emerged from this study. The themes suggest that undergoing critical reflective practice allows pre-service teachers to develop cultural self-awareness, which leads to greater insights in terms of their own teaching and learning philosophies. Additionally, it amplified their ability to contemplate the diverse cultures and academic abilities of students, understand the philosophy and implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy as a means to meet students' needs, and uphold equity in education.

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