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This paper reports an exploratory study of preservice teachers' knowledge of multicultural education and preparedness for literacy instruction with diverse populations. We conducted the study across a variety of college and university contexts. Results showed that preservice teachers did not feel well prepared to teach children of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We also found evidence that these preservice teachers had not developed a strong knowledge base about multicultural education, despite the fact that they had all been introduced to multicultural topics in their teacher education coursework. This study demonstrates that there is a need for examination of current methods of preparing teachers for providing literacy instruction that addresses diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

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