Reuben L. Yarmus, James J. Vagliardo
Data points continue to underscore an alarming crisis in U.S. public education especially for poor children, non- whites and English Language Learners as well as persistent, pervasive demographic dissonance between future teachers and learners. Given this crisis and dissonance, those charged with preparing the next generation of educators need to identify innovative ways to confront bias, assumptions, pseudo-concepts, “status quo” and complicity and to foster a sense of social justice and a spirit of relentlessness. Inspired by the work of Vygotsky and of Feuerstein and based upon their own action research, the authors propose recursive mediated learning experiences, detailing a number of activities that they are utilizing in courses on campus and during practice teaching to draw future teachers, university instructors and P-12 mentor teachers “under the hood” in engaging, collaborative, process-oriented, visceral and cerebral approaches to more informed and hopefully more successful professional practice.
teaching, learning to teach, situatedness, mediation, recursion
Boykin, A. and Noguera, P. (2011). Creating the Opportunity to Learn. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Feuerstein, R., Feuerstein, R. and Falik, L. (2010). Mediated Learning and the Brain’s Capacity for Change. New York: NY: Teachers College Press.
Flavell, J. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive-developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 34, 906-911.
Gargiulo, R. and Metcalf, D. (2010). Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms: a Universal Design for Learning approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Kauchak, D. and Eggen, P. (2008) Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Kozulin, A. (1998). Psychological Tools: A sociocultural approach to education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
National Center for Education Statistics (2011a). Achievement Gaps. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/studies/gaps/ .
National Center for Education Statistics (2011b). Trends in High School Drop Out Rates. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from:
National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force (2004). Assessment of Diversity in America’s Teaching Force: A Call to Action. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from:
National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (1996). What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from:
National Education Association (2007). Truth in Labeling: Disproportionality in Special Education. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from:
Singelis, T. M. (Editor) (1998). Teaching about culture, ethnicity and diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Smagorinsky, P., Cook L., and Johnson, T. (2003). The Twisting Path of Concept Development in Learning to Teach. Retrieved January 31, 2013 from:
Vagliardo, J. (2004). Mediating Cognitive Development in Heuristic Problem Solving: Curriculum Qualities and Dimensions. Unpublished manuscript.
Vagliardo, M. (2008). Exploring the Efficacy of Vygotsky’s Theories in Urban Field Experiences in Bao, J. Vold, L. and Tidwell, M. (Editors). Preparing Urban Teachers Collaboratively in Philadelphia: Practices, Research and Reflection. El Cajon, CA: National Social Science Press, pp. 36-53.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded Second Edition, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
￼Yarmus, R. and Begum, N. (2013). Field Experiences and Teacher Education Programs: What Is and What If? Journal of the European Teacher Education Network, 8,