ERIC Number: ED451802
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice: Integrating Multicultural Theory into an Undergraduate Foundations of Education Class.
Schuster, Tracy J.
This paper describes an action plan for integrating multicultural theory into a teacher education social foundations course and presents results from an evaluation of this effort. The action plan for the course was to integrate the theory and practice of multicultural education across five master questions posed by T. Berg (1999) and in the context of five dimensions of multicultural education defined by J. Banks (1995). "Schools in Communities" was planned as an undergraduate course to introduce students to the foundations of education by studying social, philosophical, and historical aspects of U.S. culture. Through the use of the five master questions and the five dimensions of multicultural education, students were to focus on the forces and influences that guide the U.S. education system and the individual classroom. Among the features of the course were the use of texts representing the diversity of students, including examples from children's literature, and a variety of enrichment experiences, ranging from speakers through videos and interactive technology. Students also conducted an ethnographic study of a school. The responses of 27 students (7 African American, 18 Caucasian, 1 Arab) showed gains in their appreciation of the complexity of education and the relationship between schools and society. Twelve of the students commented that they really enjoyed the class, and 14 said that the class had opened their eyes to many educational issues. An appendix contains the course syllabus and some supplemental information. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).