Reconstructing Pre-Service Teacher Perceptions through a Service-Learning Project at a Homeless Shelter

Valerie Zelenka


With a purpose of reconstructing pre-service teachers’ perceptions about homelessness, an elementary education professor implements a service-learning field experience at the city’s homeless shelter for families. For this qualitative study, I collected data for six semesters and measured the changes in pre-service teachers’ perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs about working with children and families experiencing homelessness. At the beginning of this study, the pre-service teachers expressed various concerns about tutoring children at a homeless shelter. Regardless of their initial concerns, however, the pre-service teachers reported this service-learning project was a valuable learning experience. Recommendations include implementing service-learning with all pre-service teachers early and often within teacher preparation programs. These experiences should focus on both formal and informal learning and should allow for pre-service teachers to work closely with struggling at-risk students.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add ‘’ domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', please check your 'spam' or 'junk' folder.