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Article

Ozalle Marie Toms, Kim Reddig and Stephanie Jones-Fosu

The purpose of this study was to assess the diversity-related professional development needs of pre-service teachers in our college. According to a report released in 2017…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to assess the diversity-related professional development needs of pre-service teachers in our college. According to a report released in 2017 by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), minorities accounted for 20 per cent of all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the United States during the 2015-2016 school year. The same report noted that 51 per cent of all public elementary and secondary school students in the USA were nonwhite during the same school year. Schools will continue to become increasingly more diverse as it relates to the student population. Students of color are expected to make up 56 per cent of the student population by 2024 (Digest of Education Statistics, 2013). With the changing demographics of US schools, pre-service teachers must be prepared to teach, interact and support students and families whose cultures, beliefs and lifestyles may differ from their own. Cultural competence is having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity perceptions and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families (Muñoz and Graybill, 2015). The mere presence of diverse communities on college campuses is not sufficient in promoting positive educational outcomes related to diversity (Museus, 2008).

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative survey research was used to assess diversity related professional development needs of pre-service teachers. Students were asked an open-ended question: ‘Please list topics of diversity training that should be offered to students in the college’ After the question, a text box was provided to allow respondents to provide a unique answer. This approach, as opposed to providing a list of predetermined responses to select from gave respondents the freedom to say exactly what they felt should be offered.

Findings

After analyzing the 163 open-ended responses provided by students six themes emerged. The themes were offering diversity-related professional development in the areas of disability/mental illness, cultural competence/awareness, LGBTQAI+/gender, facilitating conversations about diversity, discrimination and race/ethnicity.

Research limitations/implications

The sample came from one university; therefore, the results may not be generalizable to other predominantly white universities. Future research should collect data at other universities or the schools within the university system to determine the needs for other campuses. The results of such a study will always be limited in scope but they do describe the needs at the targeted University. The response rate was low, 24 per cent. The reasons for the low response rate are unclear. Other survey techniques, such as mail surveys or face-to-face meetings, may be more successful in obtaining a higher response rate.

Practical implications

Teacher preparation programs should assess students’ perceptions, knowledge and experiences as it relates to diversity, and survey pre-service teachers to determine gaps in the diversity training currently being offered. Diversity training must be intentional to prepare pre-service teachers to meet the demands of the diverse classroom.

Social implications

Future research should aim to assess pre-service teachers’ beliefs about diversity throughout the entirety of teacher preparation programs by assessing pre-service teachers in multiple classes and participants who attend independent diversity training opportunities. To address the rapid increase in cultural and ethnic diversity in education worldwide, pre-service programs should target and challenge pre-service teachers’ beliefs to assure equitable education to diverse students.

Originality/value

The paper that has been submitted is an original research that was conducted by the first author. The first and second authors used manual coding for data analysis.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

Keywords

Content available
Article

Ozalle Marie Toms, Gloria Campbell-Whatley, Shannon Stuart and Tia Schultz

The Check-in Check-out (CICO) program is a Tier II behavioral intervention that has received empirical support as an effective way to reduce problem behaviors (Hawken and…

Abstract

Purpose

The Check-in Check-out (CICO) program is a Tier II behavioral intervention that has received empirical support as an effective way to reduce problem behaviors (Hawken and amp; Horner, 2003; March and amp; Horner, 2002). The purpose of this study is to use an intervention that combined CICO with social skill instruction and academic planning with three African-American ninth-grade males identified with emotional and behavioral disorders. A concurrent baseline across participants design was used to evaluate participants’ performance on academic planning and behavior. Results indicate that the combination of social skill instruction and academic planning with the CICO mentoring program improved participants’ academic planning and behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design to determine the effect of the CICO mentoring program. CICO was combined with academic planning and social skills training to determine the effect on the DRC scores and the student’s educational success skills. This study included three phases: baseline, intervention (which included academic planning, social skills training and CICO) and maintenance.

Findings

All of the participants were below 50 per cent during baseline for points earned on the daily report card and the execution of steps for academic planning. During intervention, all of the participants had an increase in level and trend for both skills. Participants were able to maintain the skills two weeks after intervention.

Research limitations/implications

This study has several limitations. First, the study was conducted in an urban setting; therefore, it cannot be generalized to other geographical populations, such as rural or suburban students. Second, the study is not generalizable to self-contained settings, resource rooms or other school environments. Third, the use of DRC data, as opposed to direct observations of behavior, is a strong limitation. Consequently, it is possible that improvements in DRC scores were because of changes in teacher perceptions rather than actual changes in student behavior.

Practical implications

The study presents several implications for future studies. First, researchers could investigate different service-level settings (e.g. self-contained or resource) and different settings (e.g. suburban or rural). Second, researchers could focus on varied populations that are targeted for inappropriate behavior or academic difficulties such as English Language Learners. Researchers could also examine the effects of tutoring with CICO and investigate if mentoring is generalizable to community settings.

Social implications

Social validity outcomes from students, parents and classroom teachers who participated this study were positive. Although social validity measures do not add to data for our dependent variables, it is important to consider perceptions from our stakeholders. Students indicated that they found daily mentoring sessions helpful and beneficial. Based on student perceptions and performance and teacher feedback, components of CICO were effective in reducing disruptive behavior of African-American males at the high school level.

Originality/value

Not only does the study focus on African-American males in high school, but also contributes to the literature by focusing on the increase of students’ academic planning skills, social skills and the reduction of office discipline referrals. The version of CICO used in the present study included the use of FBAs. Few studies found in the literature even mentioned conducting an FBA before or during the implementation of CICO with successful results (Campbell and amp; Anderson, 2008; March and amp; Horner, 2002). The authors also monitored the positive gains of the student using Daily Report Cards (DRC). For this study, DRC is simply a method of reporting success to the mentor, student, parent and mentee.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

Keywords

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