Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy n. Lafferty


University officials have identified a problem among secondary preservice teachers (SPTs) who have expressed reluctance to teach in local urban schools. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of SPTs regarding their preparation for and experiences with teaching in urban school settings. Vygotsky's zone of proximal development and Bruner's concept of scaffolding served as the conceptual frameworks that guided this study. Data were collected from 11 SPTs who completed the requirements of their field service experiences in urban schools. Data collection consisted of individual interviews, one focus group interview, and field observations. Findings showed that SPTs desire to make a difference in urban schools, lack confidence in managing culturally diverse classrooms, and desire more faculty guidance in working with diverse populations. SPTs asserted that they need more research-based teaching strategies and urban field experiences. Implications for social change include more collaboration among university faculty, urban school principals, mentor teachers, and community organizations. Findings may be used to prepare SPTs to serve culturally diverse populations, which may improve students' academic achievement in urban classrooms.