For decades, the United States has focused on recruiting and retaining teachers of color with an emphasis on employing them in urban schools. This need is persistent for myriad reasons not the least of which is the lack of support that these teachers face through their teacher preparation programs and in their early years in the profession. The history of now: Urban education, alternative routes to licensure, and the oral histories of Black and Latinx educators is a book that speaks to preparing and supporting teachers in a specific urban education context, Las Vegas, Nevada. By describing the historical context of the city in relation to the development and maintenance of urban schools, we situate this book in a place based examination of learning to teach. While place-based or context-specific approaches to teacher preparation exist in academic literature, there is a need to better understand the impact of those approaches on the development of pre- and in-service teachers. Our book addresses that need by providing narratives of Black and Latinx in-service teachers who were certified through an alternative route to licensure (ARL) as well as a Latina principal and a Latina academic teacher education professor. A growing segment of the teacher workforce is certified via alternative pathways, yet relatively little is known about their experiences, specifically through oral history and narrative inquiry as means to connect their pasts with their process of becoming and preparing secondary educators in urban schools. Therefore, the heart of this edited volume presents author’s detailed narratives of experience that connect their life history with their current realities as educators of color.
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Iesha Jackson, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Iesha completed her doctoral work at Columbia University.
Doris L. Watson, Ph.D. is currently Professor in Higher Education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and completed her doctoral work at the University of New Mexico.