ERIC Number: ED375137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
New Teachers' Perceptions of the Meaning of the Term "Multiculturalism" in Preservice Education.
Gasbarro, Sharon L.; Matthews, Daniel
The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to investigate new teachers' perceptions of needs for multicultural education in teacher preparation programs; and second, to better understand the meanings new teachers give to the term multiculturalism. Interviews conducted with nine practicing teachers, recent university graduates, focused on their recommendations for teacher education, their definitions of the term multiculturalism, and their rankings of a series of goals based on a typology of approaches to multicultural education. Themes in responses and similarities and differences between teachers' views and views explicated in the literature on multicultural education were sought. Teachers' recommendations included references to: course work in multicultural content, knowledge construction, and pedagogy; field experiences; and qualifications and characteristics of teacher education faculty. Teachers' definitions of multiculturalism included involving students of all backgrounds and understanding perspectives of different groups. Most of the teachers (five of nine) ranked the goal "teach human relations and social harmony" highest. The goal most frequently ranked last was "teach students to adapt to the norms of the dominant culture." The report concludes with implications for future practice and research. (Contains 27 references.) (Author/LL)
Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Needs, Educational Objectives, Educational Planning, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Multicultural Education, Perspective Taking, Preservice Teacher Education, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education Curriculum, Teacher Educators
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).