ERIC Number: EJ852369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Fostering Positive Dispositions toward Diversity: Dialogical Explorations of a Moral Dilemma
Major, Elza Magalhaes; Brock, Cynthia H.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v30 n4 p7-26 Fall 2003
At present, numbers of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds in U. S. schools continue to increase exponentially. While the numbers of students from diverse backgrounds are increasing, the U.S. teaching force consists primarily of monolingual middle- to lower-middle class European American women who may lack the requisite background knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach effectively children from sociolinguistically diverse backgrounds. Unexamined mismatches between prospective teachers' worldviews and the worldviews and life experiences of their students can be devastating for children. In this manuscript, the authors frame some of the most significant problems that they face as teacher educators striving to help preservice teachers in their courses examine their world views and the impact that their world views can have on their work with children whose backgrounds are different from their own. In the following sections, the authors draw on scholarly literature to explore what their colleagues have learned about teaching others to develop positive dispositions about diversity. They also explore the persistent problems scholars identify as they continue to struggle with educating preservice teachers for diversity. Then, using a dialogue format, they discuss their experiences with one problematic student (pseudonym, Shanna) who was enrolled in each of the authors' courses during a recent semester. Their goal is to use this article to explore ways to improve their own teaching so that their students will learn to serve effectively children from diverse backgrounds in their future classrooms.
Descriptors: Teacher Student Relationship, World Views, Cultural Differences, Student Diversity, Teacher Educators, Preservice Teachers, Monolingualism, Reflective Teaching
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A