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ERIC Number: ED551369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 279
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677--82885
When and Where I Enter: A Case Study of Preservice Teachers Preparing to Teach in Culturally Diverse Educational Settings
Jester, Michellana Yolanda
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
As the proportion of children from culturally diverse backgrounds in the nation's schools increases, the teacher workforce is projected to remain overwhelmingly White, monolingual, and female. These differences are believed to have fostered a cultural mismatch, where teachers are challenged in their ability to meaningfully connect with their culturally diverse students. To narrow the gap in teachers' and students' understanding of each other, diversity instruction has been incorporated into teacher-preparation programs. However, even after participating in the best diversity programs, preservice teachers often feel uncomfortable or underprepared to work with students from culturally diverse backgrounds. This qualitative research case study examined the perspectives of 12 preservice teachers in a reflectively designed, graduate-level, semester-long diversity course to understand the ways in which they perceived themselves as prepared to engage with culturally diverse student populations. Multiple data sources, including in-depth interviews and a review of preservice teacher artifacts, were collected and analyzed. The findings indicated that (a) family socialization had the greatest influence on participants' understanding of diversity, (b) diversity instruction equipped participants with the technical knowledge of teaching and the foundational knowledge of diversity, (c) multiple forums for in-class discussions and reflective writing were the most helpful in participants' learning about diversity, (d) how participants understood themselves was the most significant change to occur as a result of their participation in the diversity course, and (e) an increased self-awareness following the diversity course helped participants apply or advance their diversity knowledge. The implications of this study include the need for diversity instruction that is infused into all aspects of the teacher instructional program and reflective instruction that challenges preservice teachers to examine their beliefs and assumptions about issues of diversity. The findings from this study are applicable to any organization committed to addressing issues of diversity. By providing the tools and forums that can instill reflective practice and develop self-awareness, organizations can assist individuals develop their willingness, ability, and capacity to engage and work effectively across cultural boundaries. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A