The paper aims to investigate the effect of multicultural knowledgebase on attitudes and feelings of preparedness to teach children from diverse backgrounds among pre‐service teachers. Currently issues of multicultural education have been heightened by the academic achievement gap and emphasis on standardized test‐scores as the indicator of learning.
This descriptive study was conducted using surveys. A variety of data were collected through pre‐ and post‐tests. Questionnaires included Multicultural Content Test‐Educational (MCCT‐E), Multicultural Questionnaire (MC), and Preparedness Survey (PS). Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.
Results indicated that a class in multicultural education significantly increased knowledge about diversity, attitudes towards multiculturalism, and levels of preparedness to teach children from diverse backgrounds. There was no correlation between multicultural knowledge and attitudes and between attitudes and preparedness to teach children from diverse backgrounds.
As teacher education evolves, there is need to rethink opportunities to learn how to teach children from diverse backgrounds beyond multicultural knowledgebase. More extensive and well integrated methods (direct experiences, mentorship, observing and working in authentic settings) are recommended. These methods enhance internalization of concepts, and ability to confront fears, misconceptions and misinformation during teacher preparation. This study suggested that teacher education programs should provide more sustained interaction with diversity issues and/or children of diverse backgrounds in order to transform the gain in multicultural attitudes into practice.
The study challenges the assumption in teacher preparation programs that knowledge transforms pre‐service teachers’ attitudes and preparedness to teach children from diverse backgrounds.
Wasonga, T.A. (2005), "Multicultural education knowledgebase, attitudes and preparedness for diversity", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 67-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540510574966Download as .RIS
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