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ERIC Number: EJ858587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
"Upsetting the Apple Cart": Issues of Diversity in Preservice Teacher Education
Liggett, Tonda; Finley, Susan
Multicultural Education, v16 n4 p33-38 Sum 2009
Over the last decade, teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities across the United States have attempted to respond to the challenges of preparing teachers for the increasing diversity that is represented in public schools today. Teacher programs have responded to these challenges by altering courses, curriculum, fieldwork experiences, and other policies to include a diversity and multicultural education focus. Such a response aligns with research that has indicated that preservice teachers often enter teacher education courses with no conception of, interest in, or concern about, cultural and racial diversity. This article examines the relationship between the attitudes of preservice teachers towards discussing controversial diversity topics with peers and the likelihood that they would address them as teachers. In this study, the likelihood that they would broach such topics was directly related to the candidates' perceptions of whether their future teaching positions would be jeopardized by doing so. The authors maintain that the teacher candidates' concern about engaging in practices that "would rock the boat" within their school context was due to a disconnect between understanding the possibilities of enacting positive change on an individual level versus the daunting undertaking of striving to change school culture or educational institutions as new teachers. Here, the authors outline four potential in-class strategies regarding language use that could facilitate better understandings of how to address aspects of diversity and controversy without attempting to change school culture wholesale--a daunting task for anyone, and especially new teachers trying to develop a teaching practice and start a new career. These in-class strategies include (1) inclusive language; (2) qualifying language; (3) indirect and direct language; and (4) clarifying questions. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A