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Abstract

Most teacher preparation programs and the state governments they answer to agree that education majors should receive training in multicultural education before being granted certification to teach. Agreement begins to break down, however, over the details of that instruction Results of this study show that teachers of tomorrow want multicultural education that is more sophisticated than the typical “blame-game” or “feel-good” paradigms of yesteryear’s efforts. It also shows that students are not fragile and prefer an eclectic instructional approach that has a critical pedagogy piece as its flagship. While all six proposed theoretical instructional approaches were accepted by respondents (N=368) as having legitimacy for the teaching of multicultural education, each met a different need and two in particular made the most impact. Significant pretest-to-posttest changes in mean score rankings were found for a critical pedagogy style of instruction (t(361)=6.243, p<.0005), as well as an instructional style built upon a belief that the world needs more love and trust (t(361)=-5.732, p<.0005). In the beginning stages the need for more love and trust – although highly valued – was slightly overrated, and the need to investigate power and privilege and be critical thinkers was underrated and under-appreciated by students. This research is important because it augments the discourse on multicultural foundations with the introduction of a new classification that helps educators better understand (1) why we teach the way we do, and (2) elements students identify as being important to their lifelong learning of multicultural education.

 

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