Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring preservice teachers' perspectives about human diversity: Experiences in multicultural education courses
by Ndemanu, Michael Takafor, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 229; 3517112
Abstract (Summary)

The fact that inner city schools have not been effective in educating culturally, linguistically and economically different (CLED) students has led to the creation of multicultural education courses in teacher education programs across the nation. These courses have been created with the hope that preservice teachers (PSTs) who take one or more of them will not only be sensitive to a variety of human diversity issues, but will also use their knowledge of the course(s) to design culturally responsive lessons to the benefit of all learners. This study, therefore, explores the ways in which elementary and secondary PSTs interpret and come to understand a variety of issues related to human diversity in education upon taking a multicultural education course, Education for a Pluralistic Society (EPS), at a large Midwestern university. This study is important because even though the U.S student population is becoming increasingly culturally, linguistically and economically diverse, the teaching force remains predominantly white females, who are, most often, monolingual and of middle/upper middle class backgrounds. Thus, a need exists to prepare them for the diverse student population that they will be teaching upon completion of their teacher's certification requirements.

In order to try to understand the ways in which the elementary and secondary PSTs interpreted the ideas presented and discussed in EPS, three sections of the course were regularly observed for an entire semester; three instructors were interviewed; three focus groups were held; and documents related to the course were explored. A total of 14 PSTs were involved in the study. Despite their unanimous disagreement on the course structure, they all thought EPS was "eye-opening" and should remain required for future teachers.

This study generates implications for the reorganization of courses pertaining to multicultural teacher education and, most importantly, the need to balance theory with practice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goodman, Jesse
Commitee: Boyle-Baise, Lynne, Coronel-Molina, Serafin, Warren, Donald
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Teacher education
Keywords: African-American, Infusion, Multicultural education, Perspectives, Preservice teachers, Resistance
Publication Number: 3517112
ISBN: 978-1-267-47166-6
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