Literature Circles: Engaging Preservice Teachers in Rural Alaskan Communities
Abstract: This paper describes how a small college in Anchorage carries out effective education for preservice teachers. Specific methods courses in the NCATE-approved teacher education program require many hours of both in class and practicum applications for a growing number of distance education students from small, rural Alaskan villages. The challenge is to provide effective modeling for these students in a virtual setting. The presentation provides information detailing a recent project which combined on campus students with rural students. The learning focus was to create student-driven literature circles and rich text discussion using place-based literature. The preservice teachers and instructor determine the efficacy of this instructional method for teaching reading/language arts in the elementary/middle school.