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ERIC Number: EJ802406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep-3
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
An Evaluation of Opinions Concerning Immigration and Multiculturality in the School for Teacher Training
del Barco, Benito Leon; Mira, Antonio Ricardo; Carroza, Teresa Gomez
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v5 n2 p259-282 Sep 2007
Introduction: During the past academic year in Spain, more than 500,000 immigrant students were enrolled in primary and secondary schools. School is one of those places available to society for creating spaces for coexistence and for changing attitudes. The teacher plays a very important role in this task. In this paper we will observe opinions and attitudes of future teachers regarding immigration, and particularly immigration at school. Method: In order to analyze these attitudes, we have developed two instruments: the scale of attitudes towards immigration and the scale of attitudes towards multiculturality at school. In order to analyze the psychometric characteristics of these scales we worked with 300 students in Teacher Training at the Universities of Extremadura (Spain) and of Evora (Portugal). For data analysis related to this work we selected 200 students at the University of Extremadura. Results: Both attitude scales have very acceptable psychometric characteristics. There were significant differences in the factor "Negative Social Distance" associated with the variables for type of degree program and for knowledge of, or lack of knowledge of, an immigrant group. There are significant correlations between the total scores and scale factors. Discussion: For an explanation of differences associated with type of degree program, one must look into academic and preparatory criteria, and even consider the entrance profile which differentiates students in one degree program from another. Students unfamiliar with an immigrant group maintain more negative attitudes. This fact agrees with research which considers positive contact with immigrants and having immigrant friends as factors that reduce perceived threat and reduce prejudice and discrimination. The most negative perception towards immigrants is found toward North Africans, as opposed to Latin Americans, thus confirming prior research. Finally, significant correlations between the two scales and their factors confirm the need for future teachers, during their time at university, to be made aware of the importance of their beliefs towards immigration and how these will influence a multi-cultural classroom. (Contains 8 tables.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal; Spain