Garmon (2005). Six Key Factors for Changing Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes/Beliefs about Diversity.

Garmon, M. A. (2005). Six Key Factors for Changing Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes/Beliefs about Diversity. Educational Studies, 38(3), 275–286.

“… multicultural teacher education (MCTE) …” (p 275)

“I would argue that how individual students respond to a diversity course or experience depends primarily on a number of personal variables completely independent of the course/experience itself.” (p 275)

“The dispositional factors are openness, self-awareness/self-reflectiveness, and commitment to social justice. The experiential factors are intercultural experiences, educational experiences, and support group experiences.” (p 276)

[“The Importance of Dispositions” (p 276) …]

[“Openness” (p 276) …]

“Garmon (1998) …. students demonstrating the quality of openness, along with good self-awareness and the ability to be self-reflective, were positively influenced by the course, but individuals not demonstrating these qualities appeared to remain unchanged by the course.” (p 277)

[“Self-Awareness/Self-Reflectiveness” (p 278) …]

“… Gay and Kirkland (2003) … [page break] … ‘Critical racial and cultural consciousness should be coupled with self-reflection in both preservice teacher education and in-service staff development. (181)'” (p 277-278)

[“Commitment to Social Justice” (p 278) …]

“… Rosaen (2003) asserted, ‘teachers must help their own students — tomorrow’s citizens — to question the structural inequality, racism, and injustice that exist in today’s society’ (1441). … [page break] … research suggests that prospective teachers who bring an awareness of social justice issues to their MCTE courses may be more receptive (at least initially) to messages about racism, discrimination, and inequality …” (p 278)

[“The Importance of Experiences” (p 279) …]

[“Intercultural Experiences” (p 279) …]

“… four factors that appeared to promote positive change in students’ beliefs: 1. exposure to individuals of different cultural backgrounds … [page break] … 2. education … 3. travel … 4. personal experience with discrimination as a child or an adult.” (p 279-280)

“It should be noted, however, that intercultural experiences can have either a positive or a negative effect on students’ development of positive intercultural perceptions.” (p 280)

[“Educational Experiences” (p 280) …]

“… a single MCTE course or field experience is probably insufficient to bring about the desired changes in students’ attitudes and beliefs about diversity … MCTE must be comprehensive and long term, providing appro- [page break] priate information, experiences, and support for teacher candidates …” (p 280-281)

“… create safe classroom environments where engaging in self-reflection and pursuing greater self-awareness is strongly encouraged and supported. … when challenging occurs in a safe, supportive environment, students are less likely to become defensive and resistant and more likely to be willing to verbalize and reflect on their beliefs and experiences.” (p 281)

“… Pattnaik (1997) and Zeichner (2003) argued most institutions need to recruit more minority faculty so that students will also have more opportunities for intercultural experiences with faculty of color. … teacher candidates having opportunities for field experiences in settings with diverse student popula- [page break] tions has been identified by Grant (1994) as a ‘best practice’ in MCTE.” (p 281-282)

[“Support Group Experiences” (p 282) …]

“Creating a class environment where students feel safe to reflect on their beliefs and to talk about issues of diversity can facilitate their ability to grow and change (Swartz 2003), and this would be a type of support group.” (p 282)

[“Final Thoughts” (p 282) …]

“… prospective teachers are more likely to embrace ideas and information consistent with their existing beliefs and prior experiences, while they will tend to resist or reject concepts that conflict with them.” (p 283)

Selected References

  • Garmon, M. Arthur. 1998. Preservice Teachers’ Learning about Diversity: The Influence of Their Existing Racial Attitudes and Beliefs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association, Chicago.
  • Gay, Geneva, and Kipchoge Kirkland. 2003. “Developing Cultural Critical Consciousness and Self-reflection in Preservice Teacher Education.” Theory into Practice 42:181–187.
  • Grant, Carl A. 1994. “Best Practices in Teacher Preparation for Urban Schools: Lessons from the Multicultural Teacher Education Literature.” Action in Teacher Education 16(3):1–18.
  • Pattnaik, Jyotsna. 1997. “Cultural Stereotypes and Preservice Education: Moving Beyond Our Biases.” Equity and Excellence in Education 30:40–50.
  • Rosaen, Cheryl L. 2003. “Preparing Teachers for Diverse Classrooms: Creating Public and Private Spaces to Explore Culture through Poetry Writing.” Teachers College Record 105:1437–1485.
  • Swartz, Ellen. 2003. “Teaching White Preservice Teachers: Pedagogy for Change.” Urban Education 38:255–278.
  • Zeichner, Kenneth M. 2003. “The Adequacies and Inadequacies of Three Current Strategies to Recruit, Prepare, and Retain the Best Teachers for All Students.” Teacher’s College Record 105:490–519.
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