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Abstract

The current generation of urban pre-service teachers attended K-12 schools under the increasing influence of a testing and standards-based, market-driven education, a trend that has been growing since the 1990s (Ravitch, 2010). Because of this, I argue here that exposing these pre-service teachers to an inquiry-driven learning experience, in this case working on an oral history project, is vital if we are to develop new urban teachers who can foster student-centered teaching and learning. This study focused on one section of a course at an urban university in which most students were either immigrants or children of immigrants, representing a diverse group of countries. Almost all the students went to urban public schools and most were the first in their families to attend college. In this course, pre-service undergraduates were introduced to inquiry-driven education and then developed an oral history project stemming from their own questions. I provided three examples of the students’ digital final projects and then discussed the themes that emerged across the class’ work throughout the semester. This article ends with a discussion of the value of these experiences through the lens of the educational concept Funds of Knowledge.

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