Park Publishes on Life Histories of West African Teacher Candidates

Posted on 10/7/2015 12:48:08 PM

Professor Gloria Park's co-authored piece, "Exploring the Forms of Cultural Capital, Habitus, and Field in the Life Histories of Two West African Teacher Candidates" will be published in an upcoming issue of Teacher Development.

This paper captures the life histories of two West African pre-service teachers pursuing their education in the United States. Based on a larger study examining the life histories of 45 undergraduate pre-service teachers, these narratives focus specifically on international student experiences in the United States. Grounded in Bourdieu's theory of habitus, capital, and field, the life histories of Bakar and Selma illustrate how their capital and habitus become contingent on the field(s) (i.e., sites, time, and agents within a specific context) in which they are situated.

The narratives of Bakar and Selma captured their early educational experiences, teacher preparation practices, and future possibilities as they moved in and out of different fields where the exchange of capital occurred, which then led to restructuring and/or de-valuerization of certain habitus.

The experiences of Bakar and Selma heighten our awareness of the capital and habitus deployed in a variety of contexts-fields in the United States and elsewhere. We conclude with some discussions around working with international teacher candidates.

Department of English