Transforming teacher education to support multicultural technology pedagogy: An assessment of preservice teachers' beliefs about multiculturalism and diversity
Audrey Denise Bowser, Iowa State University, United States
Iowa State University . Awarded
Because schools are becoming increasingly diverse, a significant role of teacher preparation programs is to prepare its prospective teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help all students learn. In understanding the responsibility to prepare preservice teachers for working with diverse populations and implementing an effective multicultural curriculum, teacher education programs recognize the imperative that preservice teachers must be trained as technologically competent teachers who can skillfully integrate technology in culturally diverse classrooms. Within the context of teacher education, this research is rooted in social reconstructionist theory (Sleeter & Grant, 2003) based upon a critical multicultural conceptual framework interwoven with critical pedagogy (Freire, 1996; McLaren, 2003). This research study assessed preservice teachers' personal and professional beliefs about ways in which technology can be used to support their conception of multicultural education.
Following procedures described by Creswell (2003) for sequential transformative mixed methods research, the data were analyzed, using both quantitative and qualitative measures. The Personal Beliefs about Diversity Scale and the Professional Beliefs about Diversity Scale were used to measure preservice teachers' beliefs about multiculturalism and a range of diversity issues (Pohan & Aguilar, 2001). Descriptive statistics, including means, standard deviations, and percentages, were then analyzed to determine these preservice teachers' multicultural perspectives. The multicultural framework proposed by Sleeter and Grant (2003) was used to analyze the responses to the qualitative data.
Overall, the results revealed that the preservice teachers in this study held favorable beliefs about multicultural understandings; however, the majority of students tended to conceptualize multicultural education from the human relations approach. This study found the students' growth in multicultural knowledge and awareness appeared to increase as they advanced through the teacher education program. From the interview data, four principle themes emerged in an effort to describe the ways technology could be used to facilitate learning about multicultural education. Furthermore, preservice teachers' beliefs about multiculturalism were generally not reflected in ways technology can be used to support their conception of critical multicultural education.
Bowser, A.D. Transforming teacher education to support multicultural technology pedagogy: An assessment of preservice teachers' beliefs about multiculturalism and diversity. Ph.D. thesis, Iowa State University.
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