Rahima C. Wade

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Equity & Excellence in Education

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The growing disparity between the largely White teacher population and the increasingly diverse student body in the United States (Hodgkinson, 1991;Jordan, 1995) has led to greater interest in how to en­hance pre-service teachers' multicultural competencies (e.g., knowledge of diverse cultures, ability to teach children of color successfully, positive attitudes toward chil­dren and families of color). Given the low expectations for achievement held by White teachers for children of color and White teachers' lack of interest in working with stu­dents (from cultures other than their own (Zeichner, 1993; Zeichner & Melnick, 1996a), it is imperative that teacher educators seek out successful strategies for educating pre-service teachers to teach effectively in diverse settings. The literature on multicultural education has clearly shown the shortcomings of using course work and didac­tic methods alone to achieve this goal (Grant & Secada, 1990; McDiarmid, 1992; Zeichner & Melnick, 1996a).