Anda di halaman 1dari 40

Identifying Program Characteristics for

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for


Diversity
MOTOKO AKIBA
University of Missouri

Background/Context: Educating pre-service teachers to develop multicultural awareness,


knowledge, and skills for teaching diverse students is a major responsibility of teacher education program coordinators and teacher educators. Numerous studies have discussed and
explored the characteristics of teacher preparation that improve pre-service teachers competency to teach diverse students. However, only a few empirical studies have examined the
relationship between preparation characteristics and pre-service teachers multicultural
awareness, knowledge, and skills.
Research Questions: The study answered two research questions: 1) How do the initial level
and change in pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts differ by their background characteristics? and 2) What characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity reported by pre-service teachers are associated with positive changes in
their beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts, controlling for their background characteristics?
Participants: The participants were 243 pre-service teachers enrolled in eight sections in a
diversity course and accompanied field experience component in a teacher education program in a Midwest Research I university.
Research Design: Pre- and post-surveys were conducted to examine: 1) pre-service teachers
background characteristics (gender, socioeconomic status, class standing, hometown location, and prior exposure to diversity), 2) beliefs about diversity in personal and professional
contexts, and 3) four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity: classroom as a
learning community; instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching;
field experience for understanding diverse students; and opportunity for reflection.
Findings: The study found that three characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity

Teachers College Record Volume 113, Number 3, March 2011, pp. 658697
Copyright by Teachers College, Columbia University
0161-4681

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 659

reported by pre-service teachers: 1) classroom as a learning community, 2) instructor


modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, and 3) field experience for
understanding diverse students were significantly associated with positive changes in preservice teachers beliefs about diversity in both personal and professional contexts.
Conclusions/Recommendations: Creating a sense of community in classrooms, and modeling constructivist and culturally responsive teaching are likely to promote positive beliefs
about diversity among pre-service teachers. In addition, field experiences should promote preservice teachers interactions with people from diverse backgrounds, assign a mentor to support their learning experience and promote self reflection, and provide opportunities to
understand the connection with diversity coursework.

Educating pre-service teachers to develop multicultural awareness,


knowledge, and skills for teaching diverse students is a major responsibility of teacher education program coordinators and teacher educators.
The percentage of ethnic minority students1 in United States K12 public schools increased from 22.2 percent in 1972 to 42.4 percent in 2005;
and the percentage of children aged 517 who speak a language other
than English at home and who speak English with difficulty increased
from 8.5 percent in 1979 to 20.0 percent in 2005 (U.S. Dept. of
Education, 2007). In contrast, only 16.7 percent of full-time K12 public
school teachers in the U.S. are ethnic minorities (U.S. Dept. of
Education, 2007). This gap in racial composition between teachers and
students as well as related disparities in socioeconomic status and language point to the need for all teachers to develop multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills.
In this study, teacher preparation for diversity was defined following
the definition of multicultural teacher education. Multicultural teacher
education has been defined as teacher education that reforms the nature
of instruction and school climate by preparing teachers to provide equal
educational opportunities to all students regardless of race, ethnicity,
gender, socioeconomic status, language, religion, and country of origin
(Irvine, 2003; King, Hollins, & Hayman, 1997; Vavrus, 2002).
Multicultural teacher education aims not only to enhance knowledge
and skills in so-called culturally-responsive teaching, but also to develop
teachers capacity to critically assess existing educational systems and
oppose unequal learning opportunities provided to students of diverse
groups (Banks, 1995; Sleeter & Grant, 2003). Culturally-responsive teaching is defined, according to Gay (2000), as teaching that uses the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and
performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning
encounters more relevant to and effective for them (p. 29). Multicultural

660 Teachers College Record

teacher education should prepare teachers to reflect on their own


cultural values and beliefs, and to assess their attitudes and expectations
of students from different ethnic groups. Ultimately, multicultural
teacher education helps teachers develop the cultural awareness and
competence to educate students for a democratic, pluralist society (Gay,
2003; Sleeter, 1992).
Numerous studies have discussed and explored the characteristics of
teacher preparation that improve pre-service teachers competency to
teach diverse students. However, only a few empirical studies have examined the relationship between preparation characteristics and pre-service
teachers multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills (Hollins &
Guzman, 2005). Most of the quantitative studies simply examined a prepost change in pre-service teachers multicultural attitudes, awareness,
and beliefs in a single course without measuring the characteristics of
teacher preparation (Bennett, Niggle, & Stage, 1990; Cicchelli & Cho,
2007; Cpuz-Janzen & Taylor, 2004; Noordhoff & Kleinfeld, 1993; Tran,
Young, & DiLella, 1994).
In this study, pre- and post-surveys of 243 pre-service teachers enrolled
in eight sections of a 3-credit diversity course accompanied by a 1-credit
20-hour field experience component were conducted in a Midwest
Research I university. The surveys were used to examine the relationship
between four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity reported
by pre-service teachers and changes in pre-service teachers beliefs about
diversity in personal and professional contexts, controlling for their background characteristics. Four characteristics of teacher preparation for
diversity were identified on the basis of prior studies: 1) classroom as a
learning community; 2) instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching; 3) field experience for understanding diverse
students; and 4) opportunity for reflection. Survey items measured preservice teachers learning experiences in terms of these four characteristics.
The study answers two research questions:
1. How do the initial level and change in pre-service teachers beliefs
about diversity in personal and professional contexts differ by their
background characteristics?
2. What characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity reported by
pre-service teachers are associated with positive changes in their
beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts, controlling for their background characteristics?

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 661

BACKGROUND
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
In order to conceptualize what characteristics of teacher preparation for
diversity might promote pre-service teachers multicultural awareness,
knowledge, and practice, it is important to understand the nature and
process of multicultural development. Studies have found major variations in pre-service teachers multicultural awareness and knowledge at
the entry point based on characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity,
family background (Martin & Williams-Dixon, 1994; Su, 1996; 1997), and
prior experiences related to diversity such as exposure to different cultures through friends, travel, and living abroad (Garmon, 2004; Pohan,
1996; Smith, 2000; Smith, Moallem, & Sherrill, 1997). Thus, it is important to consider how these individual and experiential factors interact
with teacher preparation for diversity on pre-service teachers multicultural development.
Brown (1998) conceptualized pre-service teachers development of
multicultural awareness and practice through a diversity course as consisting of three stages. In the first stage of diversity coursework, there are
two entry points: apathetic or inquisitive and anxious or hostile. Preservice teachers with limited prior cross-cultural experience are hypothesized to be either apathetic or inquisitive about other cultures, and those
with unpleasant prior encounters or whose reference groups hold negative beliefs about other cultures are either anxious or hostile when entering a diversity course.
Brown (1998) suggested a four-phase approach for the diversity
instructor wishing to facilitate multicultural development from the entry
stage to the second stage of valuing, respecting, and accepting diverse
culture: 1) self-examination; 2) cross-cultural inquiry; 3) ethical reflection; and 4) multicultural classroom strategies. The assumption was that
pre-service teachers who have examined their personal histories and
value systems would develop an understanding of and a respect for other
cultures. When their reference group membership includes others from
different cultural backgrounds, they will be more likely to develop multicultural awareness, knowledge, and commitment to social justice. The
final stage of becoming ethical multicultural decision makers, according to Brown (1998), is usually not attainable during one diversity course
but develops over the long term.
Browns conceptualization of development of multicultural awareness
and practice identified two important issues: 1) pre-service teachers differ in the entry level based on their prior diversity-related experiences;

662 Teachers College Record

and 2) teacher education needs to address pre-service teachers differences as a developmental process. The present study sought to understand how entry-level beliefs about diversity differ by pre-service teachers
individual characteristics and prior exposure to diversity. In addition, the
study examined whether and how the rate of change in beliefs about
diversity differed by pre-service teachers background characteristics.
Finally, the relationship between perceived characteristics of teacher
preparation for diversity and the changes in beliefs about diversity was
examined, controlling for pre-service teachers background characteristics.
DEVELOPMENT OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS DIVERSITY BELIEFS
AND ATTITUDES
Researchers examined how initial beliefs and attitudes among pre-service
teachers change over time through coursework and field experiences in
teacher education programs. However, the findings are inconclusive.
While some studies showed that initial attitudes and beliefs could be
modified with appropriate instructional approaches (Artiles &
McClafferty, 1998; Banks, 1997; Brown, 1998, 2004; Cpuz-Janzen &
Taylor, 2004; Tran et al., 1994), others reported little change in pre-service students attitudes and beliefs through coursework on diversity, often
reporting pre-service teachers resistance to multicultural concepts
(Causey, Thomas, & Armento, 2000; Cockrell, Placier, Cockrell, &
Middleton, 1999; McDiarmid, 1992; Wiggins & Follo, 1999). These mixed
findings are likely the result of variations in instructional approaches and
program characteristics and of differences in the methods and measures
of pre-service teachers attitudes and beliefs.
Previous quantitative studies used surveys to examine pre-service teachers attitudes and beliefs from the beginning to the end of a diversity
course or a field experience program. Most of these studies used a singlegroup pre-post design and found that pre-service teachers multicultural
attitude and awareness had improved at the end of a diversity course
(Bennett et al., 1990; Cicchelli & Cho, 2007; Cpuz-Janzen & Taylor, 2004;
Tran et al., 1994). Besides the inefficient research design, another
methodological limitation of these studies is a lack of measurement of
specific program characteristics and empirical investigation of the link
between program characteristics and pre-service teachers attitude to
diversity and the development of their beliefs. Because these studies have
often focused on only one class taught by the researcher, they did not
have control or comparison classrooms to isolate the effect of a particular classroom strategy or program characteristic on pre-service teachers.

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 663

In the few studies that did have a comparison or control group, the
control group was not identical to the experimental group (Grottkau &
Nickolai-Mays, 1989) or previous courses and experiences that explain
the differences between the experimental and control groups were not
controlled (Wiggins & Follo, 1999). These limitations pose a major challenge to isolating and identifying the effects of teacher preparation characteristics on pre-service teachers beliefs about and attitudes to diversity.
CHARACTERISTICS OF TEACHER PREPARATION FOR DIVERSITY
Previous studies have identified four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity that improve the multicultural awareness, beliefs, and
attitudes of pre-service teachers: 1) classroom as a learning community;
2) instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching;
3) field experience for understanding diverse students; and 4) opportunity for reflection. These case studies and survey studies identified the
importance of these characteristics, yet they did not empirically establish
the relationship between these characteristics and improvement in preservice teachers awareness of or beliefs about diversity.
Classroom as a learning community
Obidah (2000) conducted a reflective self-study in teaching a diversity
course to 29 pre-service teachers. Obidah used dialogues to create a
learning context where knowledge is collectively constructed, taught,
and learned by both the instructor and the students. Through this
method, the instructor claimed to have achieved four outcomes: 1)
reconceptualizing notions of identity formation through multicultural
discourses; 2) teaching students about multiculturalism through an
exploration of the impact of cultures on educational experiences; 3) creating an atmosphere of empowerment in the class; and 4) discovering the
challenges of becoming a critical multiculturalist.
In an initial teacher education program infused with multicultural content and urban field experiences studied by Cicchelli and Cho (2007), a
formation of a community for reflection on teaching and learning was
the central characteristic. They found that the students multicultural
attitudes improved through the program. The personalism that characterizes a learning community was one of the dimensions of a multicultural teacher education course studied by Bennett et al. (1990), who
also reported improvements in pre-service teachers multicultural knowledge and social distance from the beginning to the end of the course. All
of these studies showed the importance of developing a learning

664 Teachers College Record

community in the pre-service classroom in order to promote multicultural awareness and positive beliefs about diversity.
Classroom Instructors modeling constructivist and
culturally-responsive teaching
Morales (2000) applied the Developmentally and Culturally Appropriate
Practices (DCAP) Teacher Preparation Model to promote multicultural
knowledge among 23 university students (20 ethnic minorities and 3
white students) in an early childhood education course on cultural diversity. The course activities modeled a constructivist philosophy that
allowed students to construct meaning by incorporating active and cooperative learning, question positing strategies, and problem solving activities. The instructor gave the students many opportunities to voice their
opinions, reflect on their learning, and gain insights about teaching and
learning through journal writing and classroom activities. Comparisons
of pre- and post-survey responses and analyses of student discourse
showed that students gained knowledge about cultural diversity, their
own culture, racism and discrimination, and acquired confidence in
teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students. This study showed
the importance of teacher educators practicing constructivist and culturally-relevant instruction by paying attention to pre-service teachers prior
cultural experiences, connecting course content with their prior experiences, and facilitating interactions among students.
Field experience for understanding diverse students
Numerous studies examined the effects of field experiences in diverse
schools or communities on pre-service teachers multicultural awareness
and beliefs. The results are mixed. Some studies reported that field experiences in diverse settings developed positive attitudes to diversity or preparedness to work with diverse students (Cook & van Cleaf, 2000; Mahan,
1982; Nathenson-Mejia & Escamilla, 2003), while others did not find an
overall positive impact of field experiences in diverse settings on pre-service teachers (Deering & Stanutz, 1995).
The inconsistent findings are likely to stem from the differences in the
nature of student learning through field experiences, which were not
fully explained in most studies. A case study of two undergraduate elementary education students conducted by Mason (1999) identified that
receiving support and guidance from the cooperating teacher was critical
to successful learning through field experiences. Olmedo (1997) analyzed journal, essays, and classroom observation data of 29 students

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 665

enrolled in fieldwork in urban elementary classrooms. She found that


pre-service teachers need guidance in making connections between reading and assignments in a diversity course and fieldwork and they need
encouragement to react in a personal way to specific fieldwork situations.
With guidance from the instructor, pre-service teachers developed positive views about teaching in an inner city school with a racially and culturally diverse student population and challenged the deficit views of
inner-city schools which they had previously accepted as a social reality.
Gipe, Duffy, and Richards (1989) compared two types of early field
experiences: 1) Student teaching of the 52-hour immersion type in an
inner-city school where pre-service teachers kept a dialogue journal to
study their reflections and had frequent dialogues with the instructors
and 2) A block of 10 hours of student teaching in mostly suburban
schools. They examined their impact on 52 female elementary education
majors attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of teaching reading and language arts to low-SES students. They found that students who participated in the immersion-type student teaching were more likely to accept
Black English and to become more holistic in their perspectives of reading instruction (e.g. whole language) than did the students in the other
group.
These studies showed that when pre-service teachers are supported by
instructors or mentor teachers to make connections between diversity
course contents and field experiences and to reflect on their experiences
through dialogues, field experiences in diverse settings improve pre-service teachers multicultural awareness and beliefs (Gipe, et al. 1989;
Mason, 1999; Olmedo, 1997).
Opportunity for Reflection
Previous studies have also identified that learning activities in a diversity
course or field experiences encouraged reflection among pre-service
teachers and helped them develop multicultural awareness and beliefs.
Marshall (1998) conducted a case study of Issues Exchange activity
point/counterpoint dialogues on topics related to cultural diversity in
schools and society-at-large. Eleven pre-service teachers who participated
in this activity one and two years prior reported that the activity had challenged them to look at schooling more critically, promoted a better
understanding of minorities perspectives, and helped them more closely
examine their daily teaching techniques for potential biases. Laframboise
and Griffith (1997) studied a use of literature cases, and found them useful for promoting reflection among 22 pre-service teachers in their first
semester of a teacher education program.

666 Teachers College Record

McIntyre (1997) examined qualitative participatory action research


methods in which the participants (13 white female undergraduate student teachers in a teacher preparation program at a private northeastern
university) were invited to conduct research about their daily lives, to
pose problems that arise from the complexities of their own racial identities, and to develop realistic solutions for dealing with racism in their
classrooms and in their individual and collective lives. The data from
interviews and group sessions demonstrated increased awareness of white
privilege and of institutional racism among most of the participants.
McFalls and Cobb-Roberts (2001) examined the effect of teaching cognitive dissonance theorymismatch between current beliefs and the
information presented in classon 124 undergraduate pre-service teachers. Eighty-two percent of students in the experimental group showed
awareness of white privileges compared to 69 percent of students in the
control group based on their written comments after reading White
Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. Film discussion, group investigation presentations, and instructor and classmate stories were also identified as useful for promoting reflection among
pre-service teachers, according to a survey by Peterson, Cross, Johnson,
and Howell (2000). These studies have shown that classroom activities
that promote pre-service teachers self reflection have a potential for
improving their multicultural beliefs and awareness.
CONCEPTUAL MODEL
Based on these studies of the four characteristics of teacher preparation
that promote pre-service teachers multicultural beliefs, awareness, and
knowledge, the present study hypothesized that pre-service teachers
whose learning experiences were aligned with these characteristics would
positively change their beliefs about diversity. The conceptual model in
Figure 1 shows the relationships among factors examined in this study.
Teacher Preparation Characteristics and Pre-Service Teachers Diversity Beliefs
When pre-service teachers report that they believe their classmates and
the instructor valued and respected their opinions, when they were comfortable expressing themselves, and when they learned from their classmates opinions and class discussions (all of which characterize a
classroom as a learning community), they will be more likely to develop
positive beliefs about diversity. In addition, instructors who model constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching by providing examples to
help pre-service teachers understand difficult concepts, showing interests

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 667

Figure 1. Conceptual Model of the Effects of Teacher Preparation and Pre-Service Teacher Characteristics
on Diversity Beliefs among Pre-Service Teachers
Pre-Service T eacher Characteristics
Gender, SES, Class Standing,
Hometown Location

Teacher Prep aration Characteristics

Prior Exposure to Diversity


% Ethnic minority community members
% Ethnic minority friends
% Ethnic minority teachers

1. Classroom as Learning Community


2. Instructor M odeling Constructivist and
Culturally-Responsive Teaching
3. Field Exp erience for Understanding
Diverse Students

Diversity Beliefs in
Personal and
Professional Contexts

4. Opportunity for Reflection

in their cultural backgrounds, facilitating interactions between students,


and respecting their voices, should promote positive beliefs about
diversity.
Moreover, in field experiences, pre-service teachers are expected to
benefit from opportunities to interact with students, parents, and community members who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, SES, and disability, and other ways. They are also guided in their multicultural education
by mentors or supervisors who can help them reflect on their field experiences and connect their experiences to their coursework. With this type
of support, they will be able to reflect on their perspectives, understand
the perspectives of diverse students, and form positive beliefs about
diversity.
Finally, to cultivate multicultural responsiveness, pre-service teachers
should be encouraged to engage in self-reflection through coursework
and field experiences. This self reflection can be promoted by discussions
of real classroom situations using scenarios, cases or videos. In addition,
action research and classroom projects involve pre-service teachers in
investigating diversity and reflect on their perspectives and teaching. In
field experiences, discussions with mentor teachers, supervisors, and
classmates allow pre-service teachers to analyze their perspectives and
actions. Keeping a journal and receiving feedback from a mentor teacher
or supervisor should help them reflect on their actions during field experiences. All of these activities and approaches help pre-service teachers to
develop positive beliefs about diversity.

668 Teachers College Record

Teacher Background Characteristics


In examining the relationship between teacher preparation and pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity, in addition to contextual factors, it
is important to consider how the initial level of beliefs about diversity differs by individual characteristics and prior exposure to diversity (Brown,
1998). Previous empirical studies have shown that pre-service teachers
multicultural beliefs, awareness and knowledge differ significantly by
their individual characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, and family
background (Martin & Williams-Dixon, 1994; Su, 1996, 1997) and prior
diversity-related experiences (McCall, 1995; Pohan, 1996; Smith, 2000;
Smith, et al., 1997).
A survey study of 266 pre-service teachers conducted by Martin and
Williams-Dixon (1994) found that males and students aged 25 or
younger showed a greater social distance from ethnic minority groups
than did females and students aged 26 or older. Su (1996) also found,
based on a case study of entry perspectives of minority students and
White students in California, that Asian Americans, African Americans,
and Hispanics were more likely than their White peers to demonstrate a
strong awareness of unequal educational opportunities for poor and
minority children, the irrelevance of existing curricula and instruction
for minority students, and the need to restructure schools and society
(see also, Su 1997).
Prior experiences are important predictors of pre-service teachers
multicultural concerns, beliefs, and attitudes. Based on a discourse analysis of 80 autobiographical papers written by pre-service teachers, Smith et
al. (1997) found that their beliefs about diversity and equality are influenced by four factors: (1) exposure to different cultures; (2) education;
(3) travel; and (4) personal experience with discrimination. Based on a
case study of two social studies pre-service teachers, Smith (2000) found
that the teacher who experienced discriminations by living in several
regions practiced more effective multicultural teaching during an internship than did the teacher with limited exposure to diversity (see also,
McCall, 1995). Pohans (1996) survey of 492 pre-service teachers in four
universities in four states confirmed the importance of prior travel or
work in another country, or in the Peace Corps, education (number of
university-level courses in diversity) by showing statistically significant
relationships between these factors and multicultural awareness and
responsiveness.
These studies have identified the important influences of prior diversity-related experiences on pre-service teachers multicultural beliefs,
awareness, and attitudes. However, few studies have examined how these

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 669

individual and experiential backgrounds influence both the initial level


and changes in beliefs about diversity. In the present study, initial level of
diversity belief scores and the rate of change from the beginning to the
end of the semester were studied in relation to gender, socioeconomic
status, class standing, hometown location, and prior exposure to diversity
(measured by percentages of ethnic minorities among community members, friends, and prior teachers of the pre-service teachers). Class standing was a proxy for age measured by three levels: freshman/sophomore,
junior/senior, and graduate students. Hometown location, whether
rural, suburban, or urban, may also predict exposure to diversity. Ethnic
minority status is an important factor; however, the present study could
not examine this factor due to the small sample (11 ethnic minority
students).
OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
In summary, this study compensates for the limitations of the previous
studies by: 1) measuring student learning experiences aligned with characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity across eight sections of a
diversity course and accompanied field experience course, which allows
the research to establish the relationship between teacher preparation
(as perceived by pre-service teachers) and changes in beliefs about diversity; and 2) controlling for individual characteristics that explain the initial difference in beliefs about diversity among pre-service teachers,
which isolates the relationship between teacher preparation characteristics and changes in pre-service teachers beliefs.
In this study, 243 pre-service teachers enrolled in eight sections of the
first diversity course and accompanied field experience course in a
teacher education program were surveyed. By measuring pre-service
teachers learning experiences aligned with four characteristics of
teacher preparation for diversity across eight sections taught by different
instructors, this study provides empirical data on how various learning
experiences are associated with changes in pre-service teachers beliefs
about diversity.
In addition, unlike the previous studies that did not account for external factors that influence teachers beliefs about diversity, this study isolated the relationship between teacher preparation characteristics and
changes in their beliefs about diversity. Therefore, this study expands the
knowledge base by providing more reliable findings on the relationship
between pre-service teachers learning experiences and the changes in
their beliefs about diversity than previous studies that failed to account
for external predictors of beliefs about diversity.

670 Teachers College Record

METHODS
RESEARCH SETTING
The study was conducted in a teacher education program at a large
research university in the Midwest. The teacher education program follows the state standards with eleven quality indicators of teacher education programs, one of which is diversity. The teacher education program
is composed of four phases of study; Phase I is foundations; Phase II is
subject content and methods; Phase III is teaching internship just prior
to job placement; and Phase VI is induction for new teachers. All pre-service teachers including elementary, middle, and high school education
students and aspiring school counselors must enroll in two three-credit
foundation courses pertaining to diversity in Phase I and II; these teachers are assigned at random to undergraduate or graduate sections. These
pre-service teachers are also required to enroll in one-credit, 20-hour
field experience courses attached to these two diversity courses.
The participants surveyed for this study are elementary, middle, and
high school education students and school counseling students enrolled
in the first of these two required courses and the field experience course.
Both courses are offered every semester. The primary method for the
study was the use of survey data collected from students enrolled in the
fall of 2006 and spring of 2007. These students were taught in eight sections by seven instructors (one instructor taught two sessions in the fall
and spring).
Following the teacher education programs motto of preparing the
reflective, inquiring professional, this first diversity-focused foundation
course covered four topics: 1) personal reflection and cultural competence; 2) working with culturally diverse students, families and communities; 3) school and classroom organization and culture; and 4) school
governance, funding, and No Child Left Behind. All the instructors covered these same four topics described as follows in the syllabus:
1. Personal Reflection and Cultural Competence: This theme explores personal reflection on your culture and identity as well as beliefs, attitudes, and experiences related to social justice and diversity. The
theme addresses the importance of becoming reflective and culturally competent as an ethical professional who serves diverse groups
of students.
2. Working with Culturally Diverse Students, Families, and Communities:
This theme explores various backgrounds and experiences of culturally diverse students and how to effectively work with them in

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 671

classroom settings. Multiple theories and strategies of classroom


management will be introduced and how to maintain an inclusive
and effective classroom environment will be discussed. The theme
also promotes the understanding of diverse families and communities and meaningful family and community involvement.
3. School and Classroom Organization and Culture: This theme explores
the organizational structure and culture of the school and classroom. Decision-making, school year, and school types as well as classroom organization and culture on ability grouping and teaching
patterns will be introduced. Students and teachers rights and
responsibilities in these organizational and cultural contexts will be
discussed.
4. School Governance, Funding, and No Child Left Behind: School governance as to who controls education, and funding and resource
inequities will be introduced. It also addresses No Child Left
Behind Act (NCLB) and district and school accountability. The
implementation of the NCLB in Missouri will be investigated, and its
effectiveness for providing equal learning opportunities and
improving learning of all students will be discussed.
The instructors also used the same two textbooks, Learning to Teach
Everyones Children: Equity, Empowerment and Education that Is Multicultural
by Grant and Gillette (2006) and Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a
Teacher and his Students by Michie (1999), both of which provide real cases
and stories of teachers working with diverse students, parents, and community members. Some instructors used additional textbooks and course
materials. Thus, all the sections were consistent in their focus on diversity
and equity, and the variations in student learning experiences came from
classroom activities and instructional approaches delivered by the
instructors who had autonomy in their classroom.
The one-credit field experience course was organized through a university office of service learning, and the pre-service students were given
a choice of one of 32 placement sites in a city where 31 percent of K-12
students in public schools are ethnic minorities. Ten out of 32 sites
required the pre-service students to work directly with ethnic minorities
and immigrants, people with disabilities, and people with low socioeconomic status. The service at these 10 sites included after-school tutoring
for developmentally disabled students, mentoring high-poverty students
in the teen program offered by Public Housing Authority, and volunteering for Refugee and Immigration Service through offering transportation, English tutoring, cultural education, and translation. The
remaining 22 sites did not directly target diverse students or adults, but

672 Teachers College Record

such clients were served through these sites. All pre-service teachers were
required to volunteer at least 20 hours during the semester at their site.
This created variations in the amount and quality of field experiences
among the pre-service teachers.
The author taught one of the sections for graduate students in the fall
semester in 2006. The author has taught the same course during the previous three years and was part of the faculty team that worked to improve
the course each year. This study and the survey implementation were supported by all the instructors. As one of the instructors, the author
avoided access to the individual survey data until the semester was over
and grading was completed. The author supervised the graduate
research assistants who administered and entered the survey data during
the two semesters, and all the data analyses were conducted by the author
after the 2006-2007 academic year.
DATA
During the 2006-2007 academic year, the 419 pre-service teachers
enrolled in one of eight sessions in the diversity and field experience
courses were invited to complete two surveys at the beginning and end of
the semester. The pre- and post-surveys were administered by graduate
research assistants who were not involved in teaching or grading of the
course or field experiences. The graduate research assistants arranged
for 15 minutes of class time with the instructors of the diversity course,
and collected the questionnaires as soon as the pre-service students completed them. They explained to the pre-service teachers that: 1) their participation is voluntary and collected information is treated strictly as
confidential, 2) this survey has nothing to do with grading in the course,
and 3) no instructor has access to the individual responses in the questionnaire. A total of 243 students agreed to participate in both pre-survey
and post-survey sessions, and provided complete information on their
beliefs about diversity; thus the overall response rate for the survey was 58
percent. The data from these 243 students were analyzed in this study.
The number of participants and response rates for each of the eight
sections are presented in Table 1. Section 5 and Section 8 were for graduate students only, and these classes were smaller than the undergraduate sections. The number of participants ranged from 6 to 81. The
response rates in these sections varied from 41.7 percent to 78.6 percent.
The low response rates in some sectionslower than 60 percent response
rates in sections 4, 5, and 6are likely to be explained by the fact that the
survey was conducted at the end of the class and many students left the

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 673

classroom after hearing that the participation was voluntary and the
survey had nothing to do with their grade.
Table 1. Survey Participants and Response Rates in 8 Sections of Diversity Course
Semester
Fall 2006

Sections
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8

Survey Participants
Response Rates
21
72.4%
20
69.0%
22
78.6%
35
51.5%
6
54.5%
Spring 2007
48
41.7%
81
66.4%
10
71.4%
Total
243
58%
Note. Sections 5 and 8 were for graduate students and had smaller class sizes than the other undergraduate
sections.

This course is the first diversity-related course in the program, thus the
pre-survey was conducted when few students were exposed to diversity
topics in the teacher education program. The majority of the participants
were undergraduatessophomores (63 percent), followed by juniors (23
percent), graduate students (7 percent), seniors (5 percent), and freshmen (2 percent). Seventy-two percent of the sampled pre-service teachers were female, and 5 percent were ethnic minorities. Male students and
ethnic minority students were equally distributed across the eight sections. The number of ethnic minority students in each section ranged
from 1 to 3. The demographic statistics on entire students in the teacher
education program during the 2006-2007 academic year were 76 percent
female and 7 percent ethnic minorities. Thus, our sample was demographically similar to the population in the program. Eleven percent of
participants reported that they came from working class or lower middle
class families, 64 percent from middle class families, and 24 percent from
upper middle class families. Twenty seven percent came from a town with
a population of less than 15,000 (coded as rural), 35 percent came from
a mid-sized city with a population of 15,000 to 100,000 (coded as suburban), and 37 percent came from a large city with a population of more
than 100,000 (coded as urban).
VARIABLES
Outcome Variables
Two dependent variables on beliefs about diversity were derived from
Diversity Beliefs in Personal and Professional Contexts scales developed

674 Teachers College Record

by Pohan and Aguilar (2001). These scales were chosen out of existing
measures of multicultural beliefs and attitudes because: 1) they can be
used for pre-service teachers, 2) they address both societal and educational concepts related to diversity, and 3) the developers applied rigorous methods to test their reliability and validity.
The Teacher Multicultural Attitude Survey (TMAS) by Ponterotto,
Paluch, Greig, and Rivera (1998) includes items on current teaching
practice, thus was not appropriate for our sample of pre-service teachers.
Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS) by Neville, Lilly, Duran,
Lee, and Browne (2000) and Multicultural Sensitivity Scale (MSS) by
Jibaja-Rusth, Kingery, Holcomb, Buckner, and Pruitt (1994) test racial
attitudes and sensitivity among the general population, and do not
include items on education or teaching. The Diversity Beliefs in
Personal and Professional Contexts scales were most appropriate for our
sample as they can be used for pre-service teachers and measure both
societal and educational concepts related to diversity. In addition, the
reliability and construct validity of the instrument were thoroughly examined with both the pre-service teacher sample and the practicing teacher
sample. Pohan and Aguilar (2001) reported that, from pilot testing to
field testing, the reliability scores on the personal beliefs and professional
beliefs scales ranged from 0.71 to 0.81 and from 0.78 to 0.90, respectively.
One 15-item sub-scale from Diversity Beliefs in Personal Contexts measures
personal beliefs about issues such as inter-racial marriage, immigrant and
refugee policy, superiority in ability by race and class, and gender
inequality. The items include statements such as There is nothing wrong
with people from different racial backgrounds having/raising children,
Americas immigrant and refugee policy has led to the deterioration of
America (reverse-coded), and People should develop meaningful
friendships with others from different racial/ethnic groups.
The second, 25-item sub-scale from Diversity Beliefs in Professional
Contexts measures education-related issues such as culturally-responsive
instruction, segregation/integration, ability tracking, and multicultural
versus monocultural education. The items include statements such as
Teachers should not be expected to adjust their preferred mode of
instruction to accommodate the needs of all students (reverse-coded),
Students and teachers would benefit from having a basic understanding
of diverse religions, and Students with physical limitations should be
placed in the regular classroom whenever possible. The coding of the
responses to all these items ranges from 1 = strongly disagree to 6 =
strongly agree.

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 675

These beliefs were assessed in both pre-survey and post-survey. The


Cronbachs alpha values of these two sub-scales based on the current
sample were 0.80 and 0.75 for pre-survey and 0.84 and 0.88 for post-survey,
respectively, for diversity beliefs in personal and professional contexts.
Characteristics of Teacher Preparation for Diversity
Four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity were measured
using scales developed by the researcher: 1) classroom as a learning community; 2) instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive
teaching; 3) field experience for understanding diverse students; and 4)
opportunity for reflection. The items, coding, and Cronbachs alpha values of these scales are presented in Table 2.
Table 2. Survey Items on Characteristics of Teacher Preparation for Diversity
Classroom as Learning Community (COMMUNITY)
Cronbach Alpha = .83
Q. How much do you agree with the following statements about the classroom
environment in this course?
a. I was given a sufficient opportunity to discuss with my classmates.
b. My opinion was not valued in my classroom.*
c. I felt that my opinion contributed to my classmates learning.
d. I felt comfortable expressing my perspectives in class.
e. My opinion was respected by my classmates.
f. Our class discussions helped me reflect on my own perspectives.
g. Our class discussions made me feel uncomfortable.*
h. I learned from my classmates different opinions and perspectives.
i. The class discussions often confused me.*
Instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching
(INSTRUCTOR)
Cronbach Alpha = .92
Q. How much do you agree with the following statements about your instructor?
a. My instructor respected voices of all students.
b. My instructor was interested in what I have to say.
c. My instructor listened to students carefully.
d. My instructor guided class discussions to focus on important issues on diversity.
e. My instructor provided examples to help us understand difficult concepts
related to diversity.
f. My instructor facilitated interactions between students without dominating
the class.
g. My instructor was interested in my cultural backgrounds.
h. My instructor shared personal experiences related to diversity.
i. My instructors comments on my papers helped me understand diverse students.
j. My instructors comments on my papers helped me reflect on my own perspectives.

Response
1=strongly
disagree
2=disagree
3=slightly disagree
4=slightly agree
5=agree
6=strongly agree
*Item b, g, i were
reverse-coded.

Response
1=strongly disagree
2=disagree
3=slightly disagree
4=slightly agree
5=agree
6=strongly agree

676 Teachers College Record

Table 2. Survey Items on Characteristics of Teacher Preparation for Diversity (continued)


Field experience for understanding diverse students (FIELD)
Cronbach Alpha = .78
Q. To what extent does each of the following statements describe your field experience?
a. I worked with ethnically diverse learners.
b. I worked with socio-economically diverse learners.
c. I worked with a student(s) with a disability.
d. I communicated with ethnically or socio-economically diverse community
members.
e. I communicated with family members of ethnically diverse students.
f. I had access to an effective mentor when I needed help.
g. I was closely supervised throughout the field/internship experience period.
h. My field/internship experiences were connected with my coursework on
diversity.
i. My field experiences helped me understand perspectives of diverse students.
j. My field experiences helped me reflect on my own perspectives.
k. My field experiences prepared me for educating diverse students.
Opportunity for Reflection (REFLECT)
Cronbach Alpha = .89
Q. To what extent does each of the following statements describe the classroom
activities or field/internship experiences in this course?
a. Scenarios/cases or videos were used to discuss real classroom situations a teacher
encounters.
b. Discussions of real classroom situations helped me examine my prior beliefs
about teaching and learning.
c. I learned how to apply teaching theories to classroom practices by examining real
classroom situations.
d. I learned how to respond to difficult classroom situations through
scenarios/cases or video discussions.
e. Action research or classroom-based project helped me think about my teaching.
f. Discussions with my classmates and instructors made me realize the importance of
continuous examination of own assumptions and potential biases.
g. Classroom activities helped me develop skills to collect and analyze data about
teaching and student learning.
h. Writing a reflection paper(s) helped me understand my prior beliefs about teaching and learning.
i. Discussions of my field/internship experience with my mentor teacher or supervisor helped me analyze my thoughts and actions.
j. Discussions of my field/internship experience with my classmates helped me analyze my thoughts and actions.
k. Keeping a journal during my field/internship experience helped me reflect on
my thoughts and actions.

Response
1=not at all
2=small extent
3=moderate extent
4=large extent
.=Not applicable

Response
1=not at all
2=small extent
3=moderate extent
4=large extent
.=Not applicable

Based on a thorough review of existing studies on these four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity, the author developed the items
that describe the nature of each scale. The initial draft of the items was
reviewed by four faculty members with expertise in multicultural teacher
education and four graduate research assistants, and revisions on wording and sentences were made based on their feedback. A pilot test of the

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 677

scales was conducted during the spring semester of 2006 with 143 pre-service teachers enrolled in the same diversity course and field experiences.
Based on the reliability analyses of the items and written feedback from
pre-service teachers, 3 items that lowered the overall reliability were eliminated and 6 other items were clarified. The final Cronbachs alpha values were 0.83 for 9 items on classroom as learning community, 0.92 for
10 items on instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive
teaching, 0.78 for 11 items on field experience for understanding
diverse students, and 0.89 for 11 items on opportunity for reflection.
Background Characteristics
Four variables: gender, socioeconomic status (SES), class standing, and
hometown location were coded to define pre-service teachers individual
characteristics. SES was measured by pre-service teachers self-report of
their parents socioeconomic status. Their responses were originally
coded as 1 = working class, 2 = lower middle class, 3 = middle class, and
4 = upper middle class or above. Because only three individuals described
themselves as working class, working class and lower middle class were
combined to create three categories of low, middle, and high levels for
SES. Class standing was measured with two dummy variables of freshmen
and sophomores and graduate students with the reference variable of
juniors and seniors. Hometown location was measured with two dummy
variables of rural (a population of less than 15,000) and urban (more
than 100,000) with the reference variable of suburban (15,000 to
100,000).
Prior exposure to diversity was measured using three variables based on
a self-report of: 1) percentage of ethnic minorities in the community they
grew up, 2) percentage of ethnic minorities among their friends, and 3)
percentage of ethnic minorities among their prior school teachers.
DATA ANALYSES
To answer the first research question, How do the initial level and
change in pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in personal and
professional contexts differ by their background characteristics? the
mean levels of beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts were computed by gender, SES, class standing, and hometown location. Two sets of inferential statistics were conducted for each individual
characteristic: 1) paired-sample t-test or ANOVA for the mean difference
in pretest for each characteristic (e.g. female vs. male); and 2) pairedsample t-test or ANOVA for the difference in pre-post mean change for

678 Teachers College Record

each characteristic. For ANOVA analyses of the initial mean comparison


and the pre-post mean change comparison among three groups (e.g.
rural, suburban, urban), a set of paired-sample t-tests of two groups was
also conducted. Correlation analyses were conducted to examine the
relationship between prior exposure to diversity (through community,
friends, and prior school teachers) and the initial level and pre-post
change in diversity belief scores.
To answer the second research question, What characteristics of
teacher preparation for diversity are associated with positive changes in
pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in personal and professional
contexts, controlling for their background characteristics? multiple
regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between
teacher preparation characteristics and diversity belief scores at the postsurvey, controlling for diversity belief scores in the pre-survey, 7 dummy
variables for sections 1 through 7 with section 8 as the reference group,
and individual characteristics of pre-service teachers.
RESULTS
INITIAL LEVELS OF AND CHANGES IN DIVERSITY BELIEF SCORES IN
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONTEXTS
Tables 3 and 4 present the levels of 243 pre-service teachers diversity
belief scores at the entry (pre survey) and the rate of change in the diversity belief scores (pre-post difference) in personal and professional contexts respectively. Diversity belief scores of all pre-service teachers, and
diversity belief scores disaggregated by four individual characteristics:
gender, SES, class standing, and hometown location are presented in
these tables.
Paired-sample t-test and ANOVA were conducted to test whether there
was a statistically significant difference in diversity belief scores in personal contexts at the entry by gender, SES, class standing, and hometown
location (Table 3). No statistically significant differences were noted by
SES, class standing, or hometown location of pre-service teachers in their
diversity belief scores in personal contexts at the beginning of the semester. However, female pre-service teachers had a statistically higher mean
diversity belief score (4.75) than did male students (4.27). The effect size
for this gender difference was 0.722, which shows a large gender effect
on pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity at the entry to this first
diversity course. The effect sizes for SES, class standing, and hometown

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 679

Table 3. Diversity Belief Scores in Personal Contexts at Pre-Survey and Pre-Post Difference by Gender, SES,
Class Standing, and Hometown Location
Pre-Survey

Pre-Survey
Mean

SD

Total

243

4.61

.63

t/F-value

Effect
Size1

Gender

Male
Female

69
174

4.27
4.75

.72
.53

t = -5.603***

-.722

SES

Low
Middle
High

27
154
58

4.62
4.61
4.61

.54
.63
.69

F = .008

.012

Class
Standing

Freshman/Sophomore
junior/Senior
Graduate Student

158
67
18

4.60
4.58
4.78

.67
.54
.55

F= .703

.108

Hometown
Location

Rural
Suburban
Urban

65
84
89

4.57
4.58
4.66

.58
.67
.64

F = .501

.091

SD

T/F-value

Effect
Size

243

Pre-Post
Mean Change2
.036

.51

Pre-Post Difference
Total
Gender

Male
Female

69
174

.070
.022

.66
.43

t = .650

.084

SES

Low
Middle
High

27
154
58

.049
.037
.004

.47
.49
.55

F = .111

.043

Class
Standing

Freshman/Sophomore
Junior/Senior
Graduate Student3

158
67
18

-.004
.078
.226

.56
.43
.32

F = 1.977

.182

Hometown
Location

Rural
Suburban
Urban

65
84
89

.070
.084
-.033

.35
.60
.51

F = 1.351

.150

*** p<.001
Notes: 1 The effect size was computed based on the equation, ES=2t/ SQRT(DF) or
2*SQRT(F)/SQRT(DF).
2 Pre-Post Mean Change was computed by post-survey mean score subtracted by the pre-survey mean
score for each group.
3 A set of paired-sample t-tests was also conducted, and graduate students pre-post change was significantly larger than the pre-post change of two groups of undergraduate students.

680 Teachers College Record

Table 4. Diversity Belief Scores in Professional Contexts at Pre-Survey and Pre-Post Difference by Gender,
SES, Class Standing, and Hometown Location
Pre-Survey

Pre-Survey
Mean

SD

Total

243

4.34

.44

t/F-value

Effect
Size1

Gender

Male
Female

69
174

4.15
4.41

.50
.39

t = -4.431***

-.571

SES

Low
Middle
High

27
154
58

4.43
4.32
4.33

.42
.45
.43

F = .708

.109

Class
Standing

Freshman/Sophomore
Junior/Senior
Graduate Student2

158
67
18

4.32
4.30
4.63

.42
.46
.47

F = 4.412*

.271

Hometown
Location

Rural
Suburban
Urban

65
84
89

4.32
4.33
4.35

.47
.44
.43

F = .069

.034

Pre-Post
Mean Change3

SD

T/F-value

Effect
Size

243

.120

.53

Pre-Post Difference
Total
Gender

Male
Female

69
174

.124
.118

.58
.51

t = .078

.010

SES

Low
Middle
High

27
154
58

.111
.126
.091

.48
.53
.57

F = .090

.039

Class
Standing

Freshman/Sophomore
Junior/Senior
Graduate Student

158
67
18

.075
.215
.157

.54
.52
.40

F = 1.711

.169

Hometown
Location

Rural
Suburban
Urban

65
84
89

.146
.190
.021

.51
.50
.57

F = 2.376

.199

*p <.05, *** p<.001


Notes.1 The effect size was computed based on the equation, ES=2t/ SQRT(DF) or
2*SQRT(F)/SQRT(DF).
2 A set of paired-sample t-tests was also conducted, and graduate students pre-test mean was significantly
larger than the pre-test means of two groups of undergraduate students.
3 Pre-Post Mean Change was computed by post-survey mean score subtracted by the pre-survey mean
score for each group.

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 681

locations were 0.012, 0.108, and 0.091 respectively, showing small effects
of these individual characteristics on pre-service teachers beliefs about
diversity in personal contexts.
To examine if the pre-service teachers improved their diversity belief
scores from the beginning to the end of the semester, repeated measure
t-tests of pre-post differences were also conducted and the results are presented in the lower half of Table 3. There was no statistically significant
improvement in mean diversity belief scores in personal contexts over
one semester with the pre-survey mean score of 4.61 and the post-survey
mean score of 4.65; the pre-post mean change was found to be .036 (t =
1.10, df = 242, p = 0.274, ES = 0.14).
Paired sample t-test and ANOVA analyses of pre-post mean score
changes by gender, SES, class standing, and hometown location showed
no statistically significant differences in diversity belief scores in personal
contexts except for class standing. While ANOVA analysis did not show a
statistically significant difference by class standing, paired-sample t-tests
for two groups at a time showed that graduate students pre-post change
was significant larger than the pre-post change of two groups of undergraduate students with the effect size of 0.182. The effect sizes for the
other characteristics were small, ranging from 0.084 for gender to 0.150
for hometown location.
In sum, these analyses showed a gender gap in diversity belief scores in
personal contexts at the entry level and a different rate of change
between graduate and undergraduate students in their diversity belief
scores in personal contexts. There was no statistically significant difference between mean pre-survey score and mean post-survey score. This
finding may suggest that beliefs about diversity in personal contexts are
difficult to change through one diversity course and field experiences;
however, that is a hypothesis for investigation in future research.
Table 4 presents the results of the same set of analyses for pre-service
teachers diversity belief scores in professional contexts. Paired-sample ttests of the pre-survey difference revealed at the entry level that female
students had a significantly higher mean diversity belief score than male
students, and graduate students had a significantly higher mean diversity
belief score than undergraduate students. There was no statistically significant difference in the pre-survey scores by SES or hometown location.
The effect size for the gender difference was large (0.571) and the effect
size for the difference by class standing was moderate (0.271). These
effect sizes were larger than those of SES (0.109) and hometown location
(0.034).
For the pre-post difference in the diversity belief scores in professional
contexts, a repeated measure t-test showed that pre-service teachers as a

682 Teachers College Record

group made a statistically significant improvement from pre-survey score


of 4.34 to post-survey score of 4.46 (t = 3.54, df = 242, p < 0.000, ES = 0.46)
with the score difference of 0.120. However, the rate of improvement in
diversity belief scores in professional contexts did not differ by student
background characteristics. There was no statistically significant difference in the pre-post mean change in diversity belief scores in professional
contexts by students gender, SES, class standing, or hometown location.
All the effect sizes were small, ranging from 0.010 to 0.199.
These findings show that pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in
professional contexts seem easier to modify than their beliefs about diversity in personal contexts. While female students and graduate students
reported higher diversity belief scores in professional contexts than male
students and undergraduate students at the entry level, all the groups
improved their beliefs at a similar rate from the beginning to the end of
the diversity course and field experience component.
Are prior exposures to diversity associated with the initial level of and
pre-post changes in beliefs about diversity in personal and professional
contexts? Correlation analyses were conducted between prior diversity
exposures (measured by the percentage of ethnically diverse community
members in hometown, the percentage of friends who are ethnic minorities, and the percentage of prior teachers who are ethnic minorities) and
the initial level and the changes in diversity belief scores in personal and
professional contexts. None of the indicators of prior exposures to diversity was significantly associated with the initial levels or changes in diversity belief scores. The correlation coefficients between prior diversity
exposures and the initial level in diversity belief scores ranged from
0.053 to 0.096, and the correlation coefficients between prior diversity
exposures and the changes in diversity belief scores ranged from 0.089
to 0.039.
How did pre-service teachers learning experiences through the diversity course and field experiences influence the change in beliefs about
diversity in personal and professional contexts? To understand the learning experiences of pre-service teachers, we first analyzed their survey
responses on the characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity and
the results are presented in Table 5. In the post-survey, 243 pre-service
teachers were asked to respond to items on four program characteristics.
For classroom as a learning community and instructors modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, the average responses
were 4.80 and 4.91 respectively on the scale ranging from 1(strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). These ratings show that, on average, students agreed that they felt that their classrooms can be characterized as
a learning community and that their instructors practiced constructivist

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 683

and culturally-responsive teaching. The standard deviation was 0.73 for


classroom as a learning community and 0.82 for instructors modeling
constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, which shows not large,
yet sufficient variation for further analyses.
Table 5. Pre-Service Teachers Perceptions of Teacher Preparation Characteristics
N

Mean

SD

Min.

Max.

Classroom as learning community

Teacher Preparation Characteristics

242

4.80

.74

Instructor modeling constructivist and


culturally-responsive teaching

242

4.91

.82

Field experience for understanding


diverse students

234

2.97

.56

1.55

Opportunity for reflection

240

2.94

.58

1.45

For field experience for understanding diverse students and opportunity for reflection, the pre-service teachers were asked to indicate the
extent to which they agreed with a list of statements ranging from 1 (not
at all) to 4 (large extent). On average, the pre-service teachers responded
3.0 for field experience and 2.9 for reflective activities. This shows that,
on average, they agreed to a moderate extent that their field experiences involved working with diverse students and community members
and found it effective for their learning. In addition, they agreed to a
moderate extent that they were involved in reflective activities through
the diversity course and field experience component. The standard deviation was 0.56 for field experience for understanding diverse students
and 0.58 for opportunity for reflection. Again, these standard deviations are not large, yet still show sufficient variations among pre-service
teachers.
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN TEACHER PREPARATION FOR DIVERSITY
AND TEACHER BELIEFS ABOUT DIVERSITY
How are the characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity reported
by pre-service teachers associated with the changes in their beliefs about
diversity in personal and professional contexts? Tables 6 and 7 present
the results of multiple regression analyses for two outcome variables:
diversity belief scores in personal contexts and in professional contexts.
Four models were analyzed to examine the relationship between each of
four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity and post-survey
scores of beliefs about diversity, controlling for pre-survey scores of
beliefs about diversity, 7 dummy variables for section 1 through 7 with
section 8 as the reference variable for uncontrolled variation due to

684 Teachers College Record

different instructors and different sections, gender, SES (dummy variables of Low SES and High SES with the reference group of Middle-level
SES), class standing (dummy variables of freshman/sophomore and
graduate student with the reference group of junior/senior), and hometown location (dummy variables of rural and urban locations with the reference variable of suburban location). As none of the variables on prior
exposure to diversity were significantly associated with the initial level or
the rate of change in diversity belief scores, these factors were not
included in the models.
Table 6 presents unstandardized coefficients, standardized (beta) coefficients, and R-square values for the four models. Three characteristics:
1) classroom as a learning community, 2) instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, and 3) field experience for
understanding diverse students were significantly and positively associated with the diversity belief scores in post-survey in personal contexts,
controlling for diversity belief scores in pre-survey, sections, gender, SES,
class standing, and hometown location. Standardized (beta) coefficients
for these three characteristics showed that their relationships with preservice teachers beliefs about diversity were stronger than those of individual characteristics, but weaker than those of pre-survey diversity belief
scores and some sections.
None of the individual characteristics of pre-service teachers was significantly associated with the diversity belief scores, which shows that the
rate of change in the diversity belief scores does not differ by individual
characteristics. In addition, the difference across the sections beyond the
difference measured by the four characteristics of teacher preparation
for diversity was not significantly associated with the rate of change in
diversity belief scores. R-square values varied from 0.560 to 0.596, showing that over a half of the variation in diversity belief scores in post-survey was explained by the predictor variables in the four models. Effect
sizes of the three characteristics were 0.42 for classroom as a learning
community, 0.38 for instructor modeling constructivist and culturallyresponsive teaching, 0.30 for field experience for understanding diverse
students, all of which show moderate effects for impacting pre-service
teachers beliefs about diversity in personal contexts. Opportunity for
reflection was not significantly associated with diversity belief scores in
post-test after all the other variables were controlled. The effect size for
opportunity for reflection was also small (0.16).
These results show that pre-service teachers who perceived their classroom as a learning community, who had an instructor who modeled constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, and who worked with
diverse individuals and supported by a mentor in their field experiences

Coeff. (SE)
Beta
Coeff. (SE)
Teacher Preparation
COMMUNITY1
.192(.041)***
.207
INSTRUCTOR2
.156(.039)***
FIELD3
REFLECTION4
Control Variables
Pre-Survey
.706(.051)***
.650
.706(.052)***
Section 1
.285(.386)
.116
-.037(.391)
Section 2
.110(.387)
.045
-.215(.393)
Section 3
.165(.384)
.070
-.141(.389)
Section 4
.025(.381)
.013
-.271(.386)
Section 5
.043(.240)
.010
-.008(.244)
Section 6
-.068(.366)
-.039
-.298(.369)
Section 7
-.030(.375)
-.021
-.307(.380)
Gender (1=M, 0=F)
-.093(.072)
-.062
-.108(.073)
Low SES
-.030(.099)
-.014
-.062(.100)
High SES
-.029(.073)
-.018
-.023(.074)
Freshman/Sophomore
-.041(.071)
-.028
-.047(.072)
Graduate Students
.233(.342)
.088
-.019(.349)
Rural
-.015(.079)
-.010
.001(.080)
Urban
-.070(.071)
-.049
-.055(.072)
R2
.596
.585
N
234
234
* p<.05, ** p<.01, *** p<.001
1 Classroom as learning community
2 Instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching
3 Field experience for understanding diverse students
4 Opportunity for reflection
.650
-.015
-.087
-.060
-.140
-.002
-.172
-.210
-.072
-.029
-.015
-.033
-.007
.001
-.039

.187

Beta

.723(.053)***
-.250(.515)
-.410(.515)
-.322(.513)
-.533(.511)
-.034(.252)
-.607(.498)
-.527(.506)
-.096(.076)
-.015(.102)
-.016(.076)
-.015(.076)
-.140(.480)
.009(.082)
-.041(.073)
.578
226

.184(.058)**

Coeff. (SE)

Table 6: Relationship between Teacher Preparation Characteristics and Diversity Belief Scores in Personal Contexts

.666
-.101
-.169
-.139
-.277
-.008
-.347
-.363
-.062
-.007
-.010
-.010
-.051
.006
-.029

.148

Beta

.726(.053)***
.119(.398)
-.040(.399)
.007(.396)
-.107(.393)
.083(.249)
-.227(.377)
-.137(.389)
-.085(.075)
-.014(.103)
-.005(.076)
-.003(.074)
.165(.354)
-.003(.082)
-.092(.074)
.560
232

.093(.058)

Coeff. (SE)

.674
.049
-.017
.003
-.056
.019
-.133
-.094
-.056
-.007
-.003
-.002
.063
-.002
-.066

.079

Beta

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 685

.253

.414
.148
.006
.100
.006
-.021
-.159
-.128
-.083
-.010
-.009
-.055
.043
-.048
-.128

.547(.075)***
.311(.392)
.012(.392)
.202(.390)
.010(.387)
-.078(.243)
-.236(.371)
-.160(.381)
-.107(.072)
-.019(.100)
-.012(.074)
-.068(.072)
.098(.346)
-.063(.080)
-.156(.072)*
.434
234

Beta

.201(.042)***

Coeff. (SE)

Coeff. (SE)

.565(.076)***
-.009(.399)
-.308(.401)
-.098(.398)
-.280(.394)
-.130(.249)
-.465(.377)
-.434(.388)
-.118(.073)
-.053(.103)
-.006(.075)
-.073(.074)
-.151(.356)
-.046(.082)
-.143(.073)
.413
234

.151(.040)***

* p<.05, ** p<.01, *** p<.001


1 Classroom as learning community
2 Instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching
3 Field experience for understanding diverse students
4 Opportunity for reflection

Teacher Preparation
COMMUNITY1
INSTRUCTOR2
FIELD3
REFLECTION4
Control Variables
Pre-Survey
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Gender (1=M, 0=F)
Low SES
High SES
Freshman/Sophomore
Graduate Students
Rural
Urban
R2
N
.427
-.004
-.146
-.048
-.170
-.035
-.314
-.347
-.091
-.029
-.005
-.059
-.067
-.035
-.118

.213

Beta

.549(.078)***
-.248(.506)
-.547(.506)
-.330(.504)
-.593(.503)
-.115(.247)
-.800(.489)
-.690(.497)
-.096(.073)
-.014(.101)
-.023(.074)
-.066(.074)
-.360(.471)
-.053(.080)
-.129(.072)
.389
226

.153(.057)**

Coeff. (SE)

Table 7. Relationship between Teacher Preparation Characteristics and Diversity Belief Scores in Professional Contexts

.418
-.123
-.278
-.175
-.379
-.033
-.562
-.584
-.076
-.008
-.018
-.056
-.160
-.043
-.112

.151

Beta

.567(.078)***
.164(.405)
-.119(.407)
.060(.404)
-.100(.401)
-.044(.253)
-.373(.385)
-.253(.396)
-.110(.075)
-.002(.105)
-.009(.078)
-.024(.075)
.053(.360)
-.042(.084)
-.172(.075)*
.378
232

.116(.059)

Coeff. (SE)

.428
.079
-.057
.030
-.062
-.012
-.255
-.203
-.085
.000
-.007
-.019
.023
-.032
-.143

.115

Beta

686 Teachers College Record

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 687

were more likely to improve their diversity belief scores in personal contexts than the other pre-service teachers who lacked these learning experiences. However, the opportunities for reflection did not make a
difference in the amount of improvement in pre-service teachers beliefs
about diversity.
Table 7 presents the same models with the dependent variable of
beliefs about diversity in professional contexts. Three of the four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity were, again, significantly and
positively associated with the post-survey scores of beliefs about diversity
in professional contexts, controlling for pre-survey scores of beliefs about
diversity, sections, and pre-service teachers individual characteristics.
Effect sizes of these three characteristics were 0.52 for classroom as learning community, 0.44 for instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, and 0.31 for field experience for understanding
diverse students, all of which show moderate to strong effects for impacting pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in professional contexts.
These effect sizes were generally larger than those for beliefs about diversity in personal contexts. Opportunity for reflection was not significantly
associated with beliefs about diversity in professional contexts with a
small effect size of 0.23.
Pre-service teachers hometown location was also significantly associated with diversity belief scores in professional contexts. Pre-service
teachers from urban areas were significantly less likely than pre-service
teachers from suburban areas to improve their diversity belief scores in
the models with classroom as a learning community, and opportunity for
reflection. None of the sections was significantly associated with the diversity belief scores. Although there were more statistically significant factors
associated with diversity belief scores in professional contexts than diversity belief scores in personal contexts and the effect sizes of the four
teacher preparation characteristics were larger, R square values were
smaller (ranging from 0.378 to 0.434) than those for beliefs about diversity in personal contexts.
Based on a comparison of the standardized coefficient values and
effect sizes for the four characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity
between personal contexts and professional contexts, we can see that the
strengths of the associations between the four preparation characteristics
and diversity belief scores in professional contexts are generally larger
than those for diversity belief scores in personal contexts. This indicates
that teacher preparation for diversity could have a stronger relationship
with their professional beliefs as educators than their beliefs about diversity about general societal issues.

688 Teachers College Record

DISCUSSION
This study examined the relationships between four characteristics of
teacher preparation for diversity and changes in beliefs about diversity
among 234 pre-service teachers. Individual background characteristics
were controlled to isolate the relationship between teacher preparation
for diversity and pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity in personal
and professional contexts. The methods used in this study overcame
some limitations of previous survey studies on multicultural teacher education, and produced important findings, which can be summarized as
follows:
On average, pre-service teachers made statistically significant
improvements in their diversity belief scores in professional contexts
at the end of the diversity course and field experiences. However, no
statistically significant improvement was observed for their belief
scores in personal contexts.
Female students reported higher diversity belief scores in both personal and professional contexts than male students at the beginning
of the courses. Graduate students reported higher diversity belief
scores in professional contexts than undergraduate students at the
beginning of the course. Graduate students were also more likely
than undergraduate students to improve their diversity belief scores
in personal contexts from the beginning to the end of the diversity
course and field experiences.
Three characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity: 1) classroom as a learning community, 2) instructor modeling constructivist
and culturally-responsive teaching, and 3) field experience for
understanding diverse students were significantly associated with
improvements in pre-service teachers diversity belief scores in both
personal and professional contexts. The relationships between these
characteristics and diversity belief scores were generally stronger for
beliefs about diversity in professional contexts than beliefs about
diversity in personal contexts.
The analysis of improvement in diversity belief scores from pre-survey
to post-survey showed that beliefs about diversity in personal contexts
such as pre-service teachers perspectives on interracial marriage and
immigrant policy, and stereotypical ideas about ethnic minorities, gays
and lesbians, and people with disability did not change as a result of one
diversity course and field experiences provided in this study. The mean
diversity belief score changed slightly from 4.61 to 4.65 with the small

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 689

improvement rate of 0.036 (ES =.14). The study found that diversity
belief scores of pre-service teachers in professional contexts, in contrast,
did improve at the end of the diversity course and field experiences;
the mean score of 4.34 rose to 4.46 with the improvement rate of .120 (ES
=.46).
This finding is consistent with most previous quantitative studies
reporting that beliefs about diversity, attitudes, and knowledge of pre-service teachers improve from the beginning to the end of a diversity course
(Bennett et al., 1990; Brown, 2004; Cicchelli & Cho, 2007; Cpuz-Janzen &
Taylor, 2004; Middleton, 2002; Tran et al., 1994; Wiggins & Follo, 1999).
The diversity course in which the pre-service teachers were enrolled
emphasized the importance of pre-service teachers becoming reflective
and inquiring professionals. Thus, the course materials and activities
mainly addressed pre-service teachers professional beliefs and actions.
This focus probably led to the improvement in diversity belief scores in
professional contexts among a majority of pre-service teachers, and
would also explain why diversity belief scores in personal contexts did not
improve.
Our additional analysis also showed that the correlation between two
types of diversity belief scores in personal and professional contexts was
0.57 with a statistical significance with p < 0.01. This indicates that having
positive beliefs about diversity in personal contexts could promote positive beliefs about diversity in professional contexts and vice versa. In addition, beliefs about diversity in personal contexts could inform their
professional practices when teachers face difficult classroom situations
related to diversity. Ideally, teacher preparation for diversity promotes
positive beliefs about diversity in both personal and professional contexts. Our data indicate that the current practices of teacher preparation
for diversity examined in this study may need to be modified in ways that
would promote positive beliefs about diversity in both personal and professional contexts.
The examination of individual differences in the initial level and
change in diversity belief scores revealed that female and graduate students tend to have more positive initial beliefs about diversity than male
and undergraduate students. This finding is consistent with previous
studies on individual differences in multicultural beliefs and racial attitudes showing that female students and mature students tend to report
more positive multicultural beliefs (Martin & Williams-Dixon, 1994).
This study has further shown that graduate students are more likely than
undergraduate students to improve their beliefs about diversity in personal contexts from the beginning to the end of their diversity course
and field experiences.

690 Teachers College Record

The lack of a statistically significant relationship between prior exposure to diversity and beliefs about diversity was inconsistent with previous
studies suggesting that prior exposure to diversity plays an important role
in development of pre-service teachers worldviews and multicultural
awareness (Garmon, 2004; McCall, 1995; Pohan, 1996; Smith, 2000;
Smith et al., 1997). In this study, exposure to diversity was measured by
the percentage of ethnic minority individuals among pre-service teachers friends, their own teachers, and community members. These measures cannot assess diversity-related experiences or quality of interactions
with diverse populations such as those carefully examined in previous
qualitative studies. This limitation in the survey measures is likely to
explain the lack of a significant relationship between prior exposure to
diversity and pre-service teachers diversity belief scores.
Other studies have also shown that ethnic minority students demonstrated stronger multicultural awareness than White students (Su, 1996,
1997). This study could not examine effects of ethnicity because of its
small sample size. It will be important for future studies with a larger sample of ethnic minority students to examine how the initial level and rate
of change in beliefs about diversity differ by ethnic minority status.
The three characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity: classroom as a learning community, instructor modeling constructivist and
culturally-responsive teaching, and field experience for understanding
diverse students were found to be associated with positive changes in preservice teachers beliefs about diversity in both personal and professional
contexts when their individual characteristics were controlled. The preservice teachers who reported that their opinions were respected, felt
comfortable expressing their perspectives, and benefited from classroom
discussions and classmates different perspectives were more likely to
improve their diversity belief scores in both personal and professional
contexts.
In addition, the pre-service teachers who perceived that their instructor showed interest in their background and perspectives, shared personal experiences related to diversity, and effectively facilitated student
interactions without dominating the class improved their diversity belief
scores in personal and professional contexts. These findings are supported by previous studies reporting the importance of creating a learning community for promoting multicultural awareness and knowledge
(Bennett et al., 1990; Cicchelli and Cho, 2007; Obidah, 2000) and illustrating the critical role instructors play in promoting diversity knowledge
and confidence through constructivist instruction (Morales, 2000).
Field experiences working with diverse individuals also helped the preservice teachers in the present study to positively change their beliefs

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 691

about diversity. When pre-service teachers had opportunities to work with


students, parents, and community members with diverse backgrounds,
had access to an effective mentor or supervisor, and saw the connection
between diversity coursework and field experiences, they tended to positively change their beliefs about diversity in personal and professional
contexts than the other pre-service teachers without these opportunities.
This finding is also supported by the previous studies on effectiveness of
carefully planned field experiences in diverse settings with ample support
(e.g. Gipe, et al. 1989; Olmedo, 1997).
In contrast to previous studies demonstrating the importance of providing pre-service teachers with opportunities for reflection (e.g.
Marshall, 1998; McIntyre, 1997), this studys measure of opportunities for
reflection was not significantly associated with improvement in diversity
belief scores in either personal or professional contexts. Receiving opportunities for reflection through scenarios or cases of real classroom situations, action research or a class project, class discussions, and
communications with field experience mentors or supervisors may not
directly influence whether teachers were actually engaged in self reflection. What matters is the quality of such opportunities such as the nature
of discussions using scenarios, cases, or action research. Measuring the
quality of opportunities requires classroom observations and interviews
with pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers report of opportunities
for reflection through a survey cannot measure the nature of such opportunities or whether these opportunities led to self-reflection among preservice teachers. Future studies should pay attention to the quality of
opportunities for reflection and evidence of reflection through classroom observations and interviews with pre-service teachers.
The multiple regression analyses conducted in this study also revealed
that relationships between three characteristics (classroom as a learning
community, instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive
teaching, and field experiences for understanding diverse students) and
beliefs about diversity were generally stronger for beliefs about diversity
in professional contexts than beliefs about diversity in personal contexts.
Again, this may be due to the fact that the diversity coursework we provided focused on pre-service teachers role as an educator and their professional beliefs and actions. Despite the smaller effect sizes for the
relationship between teacher preparation for diversity and beliefs about
diversity in personal contexts, the data showed relationships to be statistically significant in both personal and professional contexts.
When all the preparation characteristics and individual backgrounds
were analyzed simultaneously, we found that pre-service teachers from
urban areas were significantly less likely than those from suburban and

692 Teachers College Record

rural areas to improve their diversity belief scores in professional


contexts. A further analysis showed that 90 percent of pre-service teachers from urban areas in this sample were White. These pre-service students may have had prior experiences of ethnic/racial conflicts in their
urban hometowns, and/or been exposed to stereotypes about ethnic
minorities. Segregation of white and ethnic minority students in urban
areas may have prevented them from developing positive beliefs about
diversity. Our data cannot explain why pre-service teachers from urban
areas did not improve their diversity belief scores in professional contexts
as much as pre-service teachers from suburban and rural areas did. Thus,
it will be important to explore this relationship and examine its context
in future studies.
Although the present study produced important findings on the relationships between teacher preparation for diversity and pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity, it has limitations that need to be discussed.
First, the data on teacher preparation characteristics were collected on
the basis of pre-service teachers own self-reports, not on observations of
classroom instructions and activities. Classroom observations can measure the nature of instructional approaches in the diversity course and
field experiences more objectively and accurately. Future studies could
profitably employ observations of multiple courses throughout a teacher
education program to investigate the way in which various courses
influence pre-service teachers beliefs about diversity, attitudes, and
knowledge.
Second, the outcome measure used in this study was limited to beliefs
about diversity of pre-service teachers. Other important outcome measures such as diversity knowledge and practices should be measured in
future studies. Teacher practices at school are especially important as the
objective of multicultural teacher education is to train teachers who practice culturally-responsive instruction and who are committed to educating students for a democratic, pluralist society (Gay, 2003; Sleeter, 1992;).
Longitudinal studies that follow teachers from teacher education programs to school settings and that collects both quantitative and qualitative data on teacher preparation characteristics and changes in teachers
beliefs about diversity, knowledge, and practices are much needed, as
multicultural teacher education researchers have already pointed out
(Cochran-Smith, Davis, & Fries, 2004; Hollins & Guzman, 2005).
And third, this study was not an experimental or quasi-experimental
study with a specific intervention. This survey study examined the relationship between teachers reports of learning experiences in a diversity
course and field experiences and the changes in their beliefs about

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 693

diversity from the beginning to the end of the course. There was no control group for making comparisons of magnitude of change. Thus, the
changes we observed pre-post in this study may or may not have appeared
in a comparable control group that did not receive the same diversity
coursework. Because of the non-experimental nature of the study, no
causal relationship between teacher preparation characteristics reported
by pre-service teachers and the changes in their beliefs about diversity
can be claimed.
Despite these limitations, this study produced findings of use for the
improvement of teacher preparation for diversity. The study empirically
demonstrated the importance of instilling a sense of community in a
diversity course, and that instructors who model constructivist and culturally-responsive instruction can help to promote positive teacher beliefs
about diversity in personal and professional contexts. In addition, in field
experiences, pre-service teachers seem to benefit from an opportunity to
work with people from diverse backgrounds, particularly when they are
closely supervised and supported by a mentor, and guided to make the
connection between the coursework and the field experiences.
Ideally, these characteristics would be infused throughout an entire
teacher education program. Previous studies have shown that multicultural teacher education occupies a small part of the teacher education
curriculum, with most preparation programs offering a single diversity
course or other add-on components to the main curriculum (LadsonBillings, 1995; Larkin & Sleeter, 1995; Sleeter, 2001). The teacher education program in this study was no exception in the peripheral status of
the diversity offerings. Although it is important to strive for a wider diffusion of multiculturalism in teacher education programs, the findings
from this study suggest that instructors can promote positive beliefs
about diversity by making changes within a single diversity course and
field experiences.
Creating a sense of community in their classrooms, and modeling constructivist and culturally responsive teaching are likely to promote positive beliefs about diversity. A field experience component can be
modified to increase interaction with people from diverse backgrounds,
to assign a mentor to support their learning experience and promote self
reflection, and to clarify the connection with diversity coursework. These
changes may be small, yet they have the potential to improve pre-service
teachers learning and instill positive beliefs about diversity when instructors make a collective effort to modify their instructional approaches in
diversity courses and field experiences.

694 Teachers College Record

Acknowledgments
I would like to thank professors Deborah L. Carr, Karen Cockrell, Eryca Neville, Thu Suong Thi
Nguyen, Peggy Placier, and Juanita Simmons, and our prior graduate research assistants, Guodong
Liang, Heather Mosley, and Hui Zhao for their assistance with the data collection and survey instrument development. This study was not possible without their generous help.

Note
1. While the definitions of race and ethnicity have been debated among scholars, we
define ethnic minority to indicate an individual who is non-White in this paper.

References
Artiles, A., & McClafferty, K. (1998). Learning to teach culturally diverse learners: Charting
change in preservice teachers thinking about effective teaching. Elementary School
Journal, 98, 189220.
Banks, J. A. (1995). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions, and practice. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education
(pp. 324). New York: Macmillan Publishing.
Banks, J. A. (1997). Teaching strategies for ethnic studies. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn &
Bacon.
Bennett, C., Niggle, T., & Stage, F. (1990). Preservice multicultural teacher education:
Predictors of student readiness. Teaching & Teacher Education, 6(3), 243254.
Brown, E. L. (1998). Developing the ethical-multicultural classroom tenets of future teachers: A social-cognitive instructional model. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 9(3),
81108.
Brown, E. L. (2004). What precipitates change in cultural diversity awareness during a multicultural course: The message or the method?. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(4),
325340.
Causey, V., Thomas, C., & Armento, B. (2000). Cultural diversity is basically a foreign term
to me: The challenges of diversity for preservice teacher education. Teaching and Teacher
Education, 19(1), 3345.
Cicchelli, T., & Cho, S.-J. (2007). Teacher multicultural attitudes: Intern/Teaching fellows
in New York City. Education and Urban Society, 39(3), 370381.
Cochran-Smith, M., Davis, D., & Fries, K. (2004). Multicultural teacher education:
Research, practice, and policy. In J. Banks & C.M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on
multicultural education (2nd ed., pp. 931975). New York, NY: Macmillan.
Cockrell, K. S., Placier, P. L., Cockrell, D. H., & Middleton, J. N. (1999). Coming to Terms
with Diversity and Multiculturalism in Teacher Education: Learning about Our
Students, Changing Our Practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(4), 351366.
Cook, D. W., & van Cleaf, D. W. (2000). Multicultural perceptions of 1st-year elementary
teachers urban, suburban, and rural student teaching placements. Urban Education,
35(2), 165174.
Cpuz-Janzen, M. I., & Taylor, M. (2004). Hitting the ground running: Why introductory
teacher education should deal with multiculturalism. Multicultural Education, 12(1),
1623.
Deering, T., & Stanutz, A. (1995). Preservice field experience as a multicultural component
of a teacher education program. Journal of Teacher Education, 46, 390394.

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 695

Garmon, M. A. (2004). Changing preservice teachers attitudes/beliefs about diversity:


What are the critical factors? Journal of Teacher Education, 55(3), 201213.
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, & practice. New York: Teachers
College Press.
Gay, G. (2003). Educational equality for students of color. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks
(Eds.), Multicultural education: Issues & perspectives (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &
Sons.
Gipe, J. P., Duffy, C. A., & Richards, J. C. (1989). A comparison of two types of early field
experiences. Reading Improvement, 26(3), 254265.
Grant, C. & Gillette, M. (2006). Learning to teach everyones children: Equity, empowerment
and education that is multicultural. Belmont, CA: Thompson Higher Learning.
Grottkau, B. J., & Nickolai-Mays, S. (1989). An empirical analysis of a multicultural education paradigm for preservice teachers. Educational Research Quarterly, 13(4), 2733.
Hollins, E. R., & Guzman, M. T. (2005). Research on preparing teachers for diverse populations. In M. Cochran-Smith & K. M. Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The
report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education (pp. 477548). Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence-Erlbaum Associates.
Irvine, J. J. (2003). Educating teachers for diversity: Seeing with a cultural eye. New York: Teachers
College Press.
Jibaja-Rusth, M. L., Kingery, P. M., Holcomb, J. D., Buckner, W. P., & Pruitt, B. E. (1994).
Development of a multicultural sensitivity scale. Journal of Health Education, 25(6),
350357.
King, J. E., Hollins, E. R., & Hayman, W. C. (1997). Preparing teachers for cultural diversity. New
York: Teachers College Press.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Multicultural teacher education: research, practice, and policy.
In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp.
747759). New York: Macmillan.
Laframboise, K., & Griffith, P. (1997). Using literature cases to examine diversity issues with
preservice teachers. Teaching & Teacher Education, 13(4), 369382.
Larkin, J., & Sleeter, C. E. (1995). Developing multicultural teacher education curricula. Albany:
State University of New York Press.
Mahan, J. M. (1982). Community involvement components in culturally-oriented teacher
preparation. Education, 103(2), 163172.
Marshall, P. (1998). Toward developmental multicultural education: Case study of the issues
exchange activity. Journal of Teacher Education, 49(1), 5765.
Martin, O., & Williams-Dixon, R. (1994). Overcoming social distance barriers: Preservice
teachers perceptions of racial ethnic groups. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 21(1),
7682.
Mason, T. C. (1999). Predictors of success in urban teaching: Analyzing two paradoxical
cases. Multicultural Education, 6(3), 2632.
McCall, A. (1995). Constructing conceptions of multicultural teaching: Preservice teachers
life experiences and teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 46(5), 340350.
McDiarmid, G. (1992). Theme: Cultural diversity in education. Journal of Teacher Education,
43(2), 8393.
McFalls, E., & Cobb-Roberts, D. (2001). Reducing resistance to diversity through cognitive
dissonance instruction: Implications for teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education,
52(2), 164172.
McIntyre, A. (1997). Constructing an image of a White teacher. Teachers College Record,
98(4).

696 Teachers College Record

Michie, G. (1999). Holler if you hear me: The education of a teacher and his students. New York:
Teachers College Press.
Middleton, V. A. (2002). Increasing preservice teachers diversity beliefs and commitment.
The Urban Review, 34(4), 343361.
Morales, R. (2000). Effects of teacher preparation experiences and students perceptions
related to developmentally and culturally appropriate practices. Action in Teacher
Education, 22(2), 6775.
Nathenson-Mejia, S., & Escamilla, K. (2003). Connecting with Latino children: Bridging
cultural gaps with childrens literature. Bilingual Research Journal, 27(1).
Neville, H. A., Lilly, R., Duran, G., Lee, R., & Browne, L. (2000). Construction and initial
validation of the Color-Blindness Scale: A new measure of racial attitudes. Journal of
Counseling Psychology, 47, 112.
Noordhoff, K., & Kleinfeld, J. (1993). Preparing teachers for multicultural classrooms.
Teaching and Teacher Education, 9(1), 2739.
Obidah, J. E. (2000). Mediating boundaries of race, class, and professional authority as a
critical multiculturalist. Teachers College Record, 102(6), 10351060.
Olmedo, I. M. (1997). Challenging old assumptions: Preparing teachers for inner city
schools. Teaching & Teacher Education, 13(3), 245258.
Peterson, K. M., Cross, L. F., Johnson, E. J., & Howell, G. L. (2000). Diversity education for
preservice teachers: Strategies and attitude outcomes. Action in Teacher Education, 22(2),
3338.
Pohan, C. (1996). Preservice teachers beliefs about diversity: Uncovering factors leading to
multicultural responsiveness. Equity and Excellence in Education, 29(3), 6269.
Pohan, C. A., & Aguilar, T. E. (2001). Measuring educators beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts. American Educational Research Journal, 38(1), 159182.
Ponterotto, J. G., Baluch, S., Grieg, T., & Rivera, L. (1998). Development and initial score
validation of the teacher multicultural attitude survey. Educational and Psychological
Measurement, 58, 10021016.
Sleeter, C. E. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the
overwhelming presence of Whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(2), 94106.
Sleeter, C. E. (1992). Keepers of the American dream: A study of staff development and multicultural
education. Bristol, PA: Falmer Press.
Sleeter, C. E., & Grant, C.A. (2003). Making choices for multicultural education: Five approaches
to race, class and gender (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill.
Smith, R. (2000). The influence of teacher background on the inclusion of multicultural
education: A case study of two contrasts. Urban Review, 32(2), 155176.
Smith, R., Moallem, M., & Sherrill, D. (1997). How preservice teachers think about cultural
diversity. Educational Foundations, 11(2), 4162.
Su, Z. (1996). Why teach: profiles and entry perspectives of minority students as becoming
teachers Journal of Research and Development in Education, 29(3), 117133.
Su, Z. (1997). Teaching as a profession and as a career: Minority candidates perspectives.
Teaching & Teacher Education, 13(3), 355365.
Tran, M., Young, R., & DiLella, J. (1994). Multicultural education courses and the student
teacher: eliminating stereotypical attitudes in our ethnically diverse classroom. Journal of
Teacher Education, 45(3), 183189.
U.S. Department of Education. (2007). The condition of education 2007. Washington, DC:
National Center for Education Statistics.
Vavrus, M. (2002). Transforming the multicultural education of teachers. New York: Teachers
College Press.

Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Diversity 697

Wiggins, R., & Follo, E. (1999). Development of knowledge, attitudes, and commitment to
teach diverse student populations. Journal of Teacher Education, 50(20), 94105.

MOTOKO AKIBA is an associate professor in the Department of


Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri.
She conducts policy research on teacher quality and learning, multicultural teacher education, and school safety using both U.S. and international data. Her recent publications include Improving teacher quality: The
U.S. teaching force in global context (Teachers College Press), and Preparing
teachers for diversity: Examination of teacher certification and program accreditation standards in 50 States and D.C. (Equity & Excellence in Education).