Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph R. Morris

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson

Abstract

Despite national standards established in 1979, U.S. teacher preparation programs have struggled to incorporate comprehensive, multicultural teacher education into existing curriculum (Sleeter, 2008). The weakness of multicultural training in most teacher preparation programs is theorized as a major contributor to the persistent achievement gap between students of color and White students (Ferguson, 2003). Furthermore, literature indicates White teachers frequently hold lower expectations for racial and ethnic minority students compared to White students and these lowered expectations often manifest as lower academic achievement (McKown & Weinstein, 2007).

This study provides empirical data regarding multicultural education within teacher preparation programs. Individual course sections of pre-service teachers completing a field-based teaching experience were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or a no-treatment control group. Quantitative measures within a pretest-intervention-posttest research design were used to assess the effectiveness of variation in pedagogical approach of multicultural teacher education. Multiple analysis of covariance allowed for the examination of the extent to which variation of pedagogical approach of multicultural teacher education affected pre-service teachers’ cultural competence. Additionally, this study examined the extent to which differences in field placement sites affected pre-service teachers’ cultural competence. Finally, this study examined the unique interaction effects of variation of pedagogical approach of multicultural teacher education combined with differences in field placement site.

Results from the sample (n = 86; female = 57) indicated treatment group participants experienced significant (p = .001) and meaningful (2 = .303) change in attitudes and beliefs regarding multiculturalism and diversity. Results further indicated site diversity had no significant effect (p = .077) on intervention efficacy. Similarly, no significant interaction effects (p = .293) were found for pedagogical approach combined with site diversity. Finally, treatment group participants described their preparation to teach in a multiculturally competent manner as more useful (p = .041) and more systematic (p = .011) compared to control participants. Findings highlight the importance of intentionally designed curriculum and differences between lecture and group approaches to multicultural teacher education. Literature from counseling psychology, teacher education, and curriculum studies is used to interpret findings, draw conclusions, discuss limitations, and suggest future research opportunities.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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