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    Educational Researcher

    Themes in the Research on Preservice Teachers' Views of Cultural Diversity: Implications forResearching Millennial Preservice Teachers

    Antonio J. CastroEDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER 2010 39: 198

    DO: 10.3102/0013189!103"3819

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    19 educational


    Themes in the Research on PreserviceTeachers Views of Cultural Diversity:

    Implications for Researching MillennialPreservice TeachersAntonio J. Castro

    This article traces themes found in the research on

    preservice teach- ers views of cultural diversity

    pulished in peer-reviewed !ournals from 198" to

    #$$%. The article see&s to draw insi'hts that inform

    education researchers interested in interro'atin' and

    unpac&in' views aout diversity e(pressed y todays

    millennial colle'e students. )indin's su''est that

    althou'h recent studies report a shift toward more

    positive attitudes aout teachin' culturally diverse

    students* persistent issues pla'ue preservice

    teachers understandin' of cul- tural diversity.

    +mplications for future research are discussed.

    eywor!s: diversity, multicultural education,social !ustice,

    teacher educationdevelopment

    s todays public schools become more culturally

    and economically diverse, the demographic divide

    between teachers and students deepens. Preservice

    teachers gen-

    erally come from middle-class, Anglo-American backgrounds

    (Zumwalt !raig, "##$% and prefer to teach in suburban

    and more affluent school conte&ts ('arling-ammond


    )**+%, perpetuating e&isting ineuities in access to ualified

    teachers for urban and high-needs schoolchildren ('arling-

    ammond, "## /adson-0illings 0rown, "##1%.

    2urthermore, teachers in diverse schools may hold lower

    e&pecta- tions, resulting in a pedagogy of poverty that

    undermines the potential inherent to a public school

    education (aberman,

    )**), )**+%. Preparing culturally responsive teachers with the

    willingness and abilities to teach in these more diverse school

    conte&ts represents, perhaps, the most daunting task facing

    teacher educators today (3ay, "##" 4illegas, "##1%.

    5uch of the research on promoting culturally responsive

    teaching addresses gaps and deficits in preservice teachers

    e&peri- ences, attitudes, and perceptions. 2or e&ample, 6leeter

    ("##1% outlined four interrelated issues affecting many 7hite

    preservice teachers. 2irst, 7hite preservice teachers failed torecogni8e the pervasiveness of racial ineuity. 6econd, 7hite

    preservice teach- ers held deficit views about and lower

    e&pectations for students of color. 9hird, these preservice

    teachers adopted a colorblind approach to teaching, denying

    the very significance of race in

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    theirpractices. 2inally, 7hitepreservice teachers lacked a sense

    of themselves as culturalbeings, resulting in their assumptions

    that their own cultural lenses represent the norm for all other


    owever, despite the persistence of these findings, recent

    reports about todays millennial-generation college students:

    those born in or since )*1$:highlight their greater acceptance

    of cultural diversity, increased civicparticipation, and advocacy

    for social ;ustice issues (0roido, "##usley, "##+%. 6cholars investigating themillennial generation suggest that the ?historical location@ of

    millennial col- lege students is dramatically different from that

    ofprevious gen- erations, stressing the influence of factors such

    as the rise of the nternet and interconnectivity, globali8ation,

    and demographic diversity (!oomes, "##

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    As this inuiry reveals, the research over time offers both

    problems andpossibilities that make more comple& our further

    e&aminations of millennial preservice teachers and their beliefs

    about cultural diversity.

    Critical Multiculturalism an! PreserviceTeachers Views on Cultural Diversity

    As began this synthesis, relied on aspects of critical multicul-

    turalism to inform my interpretation of these studies. !ritical

    multiculturalism draws inspiration from critical theory, sharing?essentially the same ethics, spirit, values, principles, and

    actions@ (3ay, )**$, p. )1#%. !ritical multiculturalism strives

    to bring about the transformation of society to accomplish the

    goals of social ;ustice by confronting and disrupting

    institutions and the structures of power that maintain

    disparities across race, class, and gender (5ay, )**1 6leeter

    3rant, "## 6leeter 5c/aren, )**$ 6teinberg, )**$

    6teinberg =incheloe, "##)%. !ritical multiculturalism also

    challenges the essentiali8ing of cul- tural groups and

    ?romantici8ing the curriculum@ with images of ?brown heroes@

    or mystical pasts (5c!arthy, )**B 5c/aren,

    )**$ Fieto, )**$%.

    Applying ideas of critical multiculturalism to preservice

    teach- ers views on cultural diversity, multicultural

    education, and social ;ustice led me to e&plore two specific

    concepts. 2irst, bor- rowed from 2reires ()***% descriptions

    of conscientizo. 2reire argued that the first stage in

    promoting an antioppressive, humanist pedagogy reuired

    both the oppressor and oppressed to ?take into account their

    behavior, their view of the world, and their ethics@ (p. B%.

    9his idea of conscious reflection on ones self and situation

    mirrors the concept of sociocultural consciousness espoused by

    4illegas and /ucas ("##"%, which they define as ?awareness

    that onesworldview is not universalbut isprofoundly shaped

    by oneslife e&periences, as mediated by a variety of fac- tors,chief among them raceGethnicity, social class, and gender@ (p.

    "%. 9his awareness, according to 4illegas and /ucas, can

    assist preservice teachers inbecoming culturally responsive in the


    6econd, critical multiculturalism asserts that ineuities occur

    at the level of institutional practices and structures and are

    often masked by common sets of ideologies and beliefs:what

    2reire referred to as the ?myths which deform us@ (6hor


    )*1+G"##B, p.

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    and social ;ustice and whether the research literature suggests

    greater critical awareness of multicultural issues.


    0orn in or since )*1$, many of todaysundergraduate seniors

    belong to the first cohort of millennials to earn a college

    degree. 9his article tracks and synthesi8es the research

    discourse aboutpreservice teachers views on cultural diversity

    throughout much of the millennial generations life spanhowever, it does not con- tain an e&haustive review of the

    literature. used the following criteria to choose articles

    appropriate to this endeavor. 2irst, all the selected articles

    describe research findings for ualitative, uantitative, or

    mi&ed-methods studies that involved traditional undergraduate

    students, usually ranging from )* to "B years of age, who were

    enrolled in teacher education programs. 9he scope of this

    synthesis includes possible generational trends in the

    research findings over time and e&cludes studies focused on

    alter- native certification or postbaccalaureate programs, which

    attract older teacher education students (Zumwalt !raig,


    6econd, all articles included in the synthesis present

    findings related to views on cultural diversity, social ;ustice, or

    multicul- tural education that the preservice teacher possessed

    prior to any intervention or educational e&perience. 9hese

    findings offer a measureby which to draw comparisons across

    the literature over time. 'escriptions of programs or courses

    that did not utili8e a specific research methodology andGor

    failed to report on stu- dents incoming views were not


    began first by identifying key research articles published from

    )*1$ to )***. defined a ?key@ study as one that either was

    cited in a review of literature on preservice teachers views on

    cultural diversity, social ;ustice, andGor multicultural education or

    appeared as a chapter in a handbook of research on teacher

    education andG or multicultural education or in !ochran-

    6mith and Zeichners Studying Teacher Education: The Report

    of the AERA Panel on Research and TeacherEducation ("##$

    also see !ochran-6mith et al., "##B 3rant 6ecada, )**#

    ollins 3u8man, "##$ 6leeter, "##1 Zeichner oeft,

    )**+%. 9hese review chapters synthesi8e the research literature

    usually over a span of )# or more years and serve as a guide forfuture research in the field. n addi- tion, located research

    articles that were cited by one or more of the articles included

    in this synthesis. wanted to ensure that A included as many

    peer-reviewed studies as possible that had been identified as

    contributing to the field of research in this area.

    Fe&t, because most of the syntheses already published do

    not review recently published research, conducted a hand

    search of peer-reviewed ;ournals that address issues in teacher

    education, diversity, and urban education looked for research

    studies pub- lished from "### to "## that fit my selection

    criteria, discussed above. 9hese ;ournals included Action in

    Teacher Education;Education and r!an Society; E"uity andE#cellence; $ournal of Teacher Education; Teacher Education

    %uarterly; Teaching and TeacherEducation; r!an Education;

    and r!anRe&ie'.

    Ising my selection process, identified B+ articles

    published from )*1+ to )*** and )* articles published from

    "### to "##, a total of $$ research studies. 9o facilitate a

    change-over-time analysis of the research, distributed the

    articles into three timeperiods based on specific trends that

    identified within the lit- eratureC )*1+J)**< ()B articles%,

    )**$J)*** ("B articles%, and

    apRil 19

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    Table 1

    Themes Across the Research on Preservice Teachers Beliefs on Diversity inEach Time Period

    Time Period 1 (19861994) Time Period 2 (19951999) Time Period 3 (20002007)

    A lack of comple&ity in understanding

    multicultural issues.

    A lack of tolerance for different cultural


    3aps in learning how to teach in

    multicultural conte&ts.

    A lack of comple&ity in understanding

    multicultural issues.

    'eficit viewsGpre;udice regarding students

    of color.

    Amportance of personal background on

    attitudes, beliefs, and multicultural


    A lack of comple&ity in understanding

    multicultural issues.

    !ontradictory attitudesGperceptions

    concerning diverse populations and

    social ;ustice.

    Amportance of personal background onattitudes, beliefs, and multicultural


    nstructional practices that foster changes in

    preservice teachers beliefs about

    diversity, social ;ustice, or multicultural


    "###J"## ()* articles%. As read each article, took e&tensive

    notes on the influences and challenges associated with

    preparing teachers for culturally diverse student populations.

    organi8ed these notes into a grid and categori8ed them into

    themes for each specific time period, aprocess known as open

    coding (5iles uberman, )**

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    the mostly Anglo-American preservice teachers toward ethnic

    minorities, and gaps in course work in multicultural

    education and teaching strategies.

    A lac1 of comple#ity in understanding multicultural issues. 9he

    studies during this time period revealed that preservice

    teachers held uncritical, shallow, and inaccurate perspectives

    on impor- tant societal issues, akin to what =ing ()**)%

    termed ?dyscon- sciousness,@ or the ?uncritical habit of mind

    (including perceptions, attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs%that ;ustifies ineuity and e&ploitation by accepting the e&isting

    order of things as given@ (p.

    )B$%. Kesearchers discovered that many preservice teachers

    failed to look critically at systems of ineuity, 7hiteprivilege,

    teaching in diverse conte&ts, and the goals of multicultural


    9wo research studies demonstrated that preservice teachers

    held shallow and vague notions of socioeconomic and

    educational disparities for minority populations. 2irst, =ing

    ()**)% asked the

    $ students enrolled in her 2oundations of Lducation course to

    offer e&planations for the high infant mortality rate among

    African Americans she discovered that her students held a

    ?blame the victim@ mentality, finding fault within the African

    American community or withpoverty in general. n a similar

    study, Avery and 7alker ()**B% surveyed )$" preservice

    teachers about the achievement gap between 7hites,

    ispanics, and African Africans. 9hey found the ?simplicity

    of responses@ givenby par- ticipants to be ?surprising@ (p. B$%,

    indicating that participants had ?only vague understandings of

    the relationship between social structures and schooling and of

    the e&tent to which ineuality is perpetuated through schools@

    (p. B$%. 9hese studiespoint to the lack of critical consciousnessnecessary to engage in critical mul- ticulturalism. ndeed,

    participants tended to hold individuals and communities

    personally responsible for these disparities.

    Additional studies in this time period reported that

    partici- pants held narrow, individualistic, or distorted notions

    of multi- cultural education. 0oth 3rant and =oskela ()*1+%

    and 3oodwin ()**

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    did not apply to teaching in 7hite schools. /ikewise, the

    ma;or- ity of respondents to 3oodwinsuestionnaire felt that

    multicul- tural education should only promote tolerance of

    culturally diverse others. n their case study of two 7hite

    teacher education students, Koss and 6mith ()**"% concluded

    that these students associated multicultural education with

    individuali8ed instruc- tion, ignoring race and culture as

    significant factors in learning. 9hese studies revealed that

    participants failed to grasp important aspects of critical

    multiculturalism, seeing multicultural educa- tion as boostingthe self-esteem of culturally diverse students, ensuring

    toleration of minority students, and practicing indi-

    viduali8ed instruction. Participants failed to be aware of

    institu- tional racism and the impact of privilege on the

    potential life outcomes of students from marginali8ed groups.

    A lac1 of tolerance for different cultural groups. n this time

    period, preservice teachers e&pressed distaste for interacting

    with differ- ent racial and ethnic groups. 6everal studies utili8ed

    some version of the 0ogardus 6ocial 'istance 6cale to

    determine the degree of acceptance participants had for

    culturally different others (0ennett, Figgle, 6tage, )**#

    /aw /ane, )*1 5artin 7illiams-'i&on, )**

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    mentees prior to meeting them. 9he researchers reali8ed that

    ?the ma;ority of the mentors had negative perceptions andGor

    poor attitudes about the personalities of their African-

    American or 5e&ican American mentees@ (p. %. 9hese

    findings reflect the kinds of discomfort and stereotypical

    thinking measured by the 0ogardus 6cale in the studies


    >nly one study by lebowitsh and 9elle8 ()**B%, reported

    positively about preservice teachers views on diverse student

    populations. 9he researchers provided "B$ participants withcharacter sketches (leader, athlete, bully, slow learner%.

    Although the character sketches were the same, the race and

    gender of the student described varied on different instruments.

    >verall, stu- dents marked higher indications of respect for

    diverse students. 9he researchers cautioned that participants,

    who generally hold minority populations in lower esteem,

    might report greater levels of respect when presented with

    sketches of them as leaders or athletes. 7hen given a negative

    description of a minority student (as a bully or slow learner%,

    participants might see this as natural and thus report more

    positive values for these scenarios. 9he researchers suggested

    that more in-depth, ualitative research be conducted to

    e&plore the reasoning made by preservice teachers about

    diverse student types.

    3enerally, these studies reveal deep stereotypes and

    miscon- ceptions held by 7hite preservice teachers about

    different cul- tural groups, reinforcing racial superiority and

    intolerance. Kacial distance and discrimination make

    impossible the reali8ation of critical multiculturalism. >nly

    when 7hite preservice teachers confront their misguided

    assumptions about culturally different others and interrogate

    their own sense of cultural privilege can progress truly be


    2aps in learning to teach in multicultural conte#ts. 9wo studies

    in this time period documented gaps in learning how to teach

    in culturally diverse conte&ts. adaway and 2lore8 ()*1%

    discov- ered that more than half of the )"$ teacher education

    students responding to their survey on multicultural

    education had not taken courses in multicultural education, felt

    unprepared to teach in a culturally diverse conte&t, and stated

    that if offered they would attend a multicultural training

    institute. /ikewise, 3rant and =oskela ()*1+% found that most

    of the "B participants in their study (discussed earlier%

    indicated that they were taught some ideas of multicultural

    education but were not given guid- ance on how to

    incorporate these ideas during their student teaching

    semester. 9he findings of adaway and 2lore8 and of 3rant

    and =oskela suggest that a coherent approach to teaching

    multicultural education can best promote critical

    multicultural awareness.

    n the first time period, findings about the lack of

    understand- ing of multicultural issues, the general intolerance

    held bypreser- vice teachers for cultural diversity, and gapsin multicultural education ;ustify the need for e&panding

    multicultural education in teacher educationprograms. 5ost of

    these studies uncovered the attitudes of preservice teachers

    toward culturally diverse stu- dentsbut did not account for the

    root of these attitudes and per- ceptions. =ing ()**)%

    pinpointed ?culturally sanctioned assumptions, beliefs, and

    myths@ (p. )B$% and Koss and 6mith ()**"% discussed how an

    individualistic orientation to diversity enabled two participants

    to hold deficit views on minority and

    apRil #$

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    low-income students. Net these studies did not e&plore these

    issues at length. Promoting the aims of critical

    multiculturalism will reuire teacher educators to help

    preservice teachers to interrogate their prior e&periences, cultural

    assumptions, and racial ideologies.

    Time Period 3: E#pansion of Research on Preser&iceTeachers4 5ie's *(++6(+++0

    9he research published from )**$ to )*** elaborated on the

    lack of comple&ity of preservice teachers engagement withmulticul- tural ideas. n addition, these studies e&plored

    dimensions of stu- dents pre;udices and stereotypes. 2inally,

    the notion that apersons prior e&periences influenced her

    or his interactions in culturally diverse settings emerged across

    several research studies.

    A lac1 of comple#ity in understanding multicultural issues. 9he

    findings of this time period pointed to three dominant trends

    in preservice teachers views. 2irst, preservice teachers

    adopted highly individualistic approaches to diversity. 2or

    e&ample, 5ontecinos and Kios ()***% asked * preservice

    teachers to pro- vide arguments for or against different

    approaches to multicul- tural education. According to5ontecinos and Kios, students adopted a ?logic of individual

    differences@ that saw cultural dif- ferences as individualistic,

    ignoring aspects of racism and institu- tional ineuity.

    /ikewise, Koss and Neager ()***% foundparticipants to

    hold individualistic views concerning democracy. 9hey

    determined that )1 of the "* elementary preservice teachers who

    submitted papers on their definitions of democracy e&pressed ?a

    narrow conception of democracy@ (p. "+$%, emphasi8ing

    democracy as individualistic actions, such as voting, and

    failing to acknowledge important aspects of pluralism and

    cultural diversity. 9hese participants saw diversity merely as a

    product of individual differences, without regard to systems of

    ineuity thatpervade institutions such as schools that often

    favor Anglo- American and middle-class cultural norms.

    6econd,preservice teachers euated multicultural teaching

    with individuali8ed instruction. 2or e&ample, from a survey of B

    preservice teachers, 0arry and /echner ()**$% determined that

    preservice teachers relegated teaching of multicultural

    education to specific classroom teaching techniues meant to

    help the child accommodate to the classroom rather than to

    address underlying assumptions about diverse students or to

    acknowledge the uniue cultural contributions these students

    brought to the classroom. /ikewise, in a case study of how one

    African American student teacher taught culturally diverse

    populations, Kodrigue8 and 6;ostrom ()**$% discovered thatthe student teacher concen- trated primarily on selecting

    materials and organi8ing instruc- tional content around

    different learning styles to meet the needs of the students,

    rather than on including cultural knowledge in the curriculum.

    2inally, Laster 6hult8, Feyhart, and Keck ()***% reported that

    respondents to a survey about attitudes and beliefs on teaching

    diverse students viewed multicultural teaching as

    implementing instructional techniues and listedbeing a ?good

    communicator, good listener, and good classroom manager@


    ")"% as ualities necessary for the multicultural teacher. ence

    the enactment of multicultural teaching mirrored a technical

    approach to teaching in which multicultural education

    becomes nothing more than implementing a set of teaching

    technologies in the classroom.

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    9hird, this individualistic orientation to multicultural

    educa- tion allowed preservice teachers to maintain a myth of

    meritoc- racy from which they could blame minorities and

    underachieving students for their lack of success in the public

    schools. n a case study of B) student teachers in

    6askatchewan, !anada, 2inney and >rr ()**$% concluded

    that participants held students ?as responsible for their fates in

    a morally neutral and open, unstrat- ified society@ (p. B"*%.

    /ikewise, 'avis ()**$% discovered a simi- lar trend in her "-

    year ethnographic study of B# preservice teachers shereported that participants suggested that individual factors,

    such as ability or genetics, and a lack of familial values were

    root causes for the low academic performance of minority

    children, seeing schools as ?meritocratic systems@ and

    assuming that all students ?have an eual opportunity to

    succeed in school@ (p. $$1%. 9his myth of meritocracy blinded

    preservice teachers to their own 7hite andGor socioeconomic


    A ?logic of individual difference@ (5ontecinos Kios, )***,

    p. ")%, which reigned dominant across these studies, represents

    one of the ?culturally sanctioned assumptions@ that maintains

    a system of ineuity, assumptions identifiedby =ing ()**)% in

    the previous time period. As an ideology, the belief that

    individuals determine their own e&periences, successes, and

    failures disre- gards the influence of racial and structural

    ineuity. Adopting ideologies of individualism and

    meritocracy, participants viewed multicultural education as a

    problem of meeting the psychologi- cal learning needs of each

    student rather than addressing aspects of in;ustice in society

    (Apple, "##

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    unstable,and Pconcernedwith survival@(p.

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    e&perience with discrimination@ was the one to re;ect ideas of

    multiculturalism. /awrence and 0unche ()**+% also reported

    that ) of the $ participants in their case study refused to

    abandon her racist views this participant clung to beliefs of

    individualism and had the least e&periences interacting with

    culturally diverse others. !ockrell, Placier, !ockrell, and

    5iddleton ()***%, in their analysis of "$ preservice teachers,

    noted that participants with limited e&periences interacting with

    individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds believed that

    schools should either assimi- late diverse groups or teachtolerance, rather than infuse multi- cultural education into the


    >n the other hand, students who either had e&perienced

    oppression or discrimination or had cross-cultural interactions

    embraced concepts of multiculturalism (5c!all, )**$a%. 6mith,

    5oallem, and 6herrill ()**% identified the kinds of e&periences

    that were associated with their studentsgreater openness to cul-

    tural diversity, which included having multicultural

    friendships multicultural education travel, as in moving or

    vacationing andpersonal e&periences with discrimination as a

    child or an adult. >verall, the research in this category

    suggests that preservice teachers with greater e&posure to

    culturally diverse others and per- sonal e&periences with

    discrimination are more open to multicul- tural ideas. ndeed,

    6mith et al. proposed that those who resist multiculturalism

    may simply lack cross-cultural e&periences.

    Kesearch published from )**$ to )***points to the contin-

    ued racist and uncritical demeanor of mostly Anglo-American

    preservice teachers. >nly in a few studies did participants

    e&hibit a general acceptance of and appreciation for cultural

    diversity however, these studies also revealed that preservice

    teachers held ?generic@ (5ontecinos Kios, )***% views of

    cultural diversity, relegating multiculturalism to a set of mere

    teaching strategies and techniues. 9he underlying cultural

    assumptions of individu- alism and meritocracy continued to

    limit the ways preservice teachers thought about student

    achievement ('avis, )**$ 2inney

    >rr, )**$% and even the nature of democracy (Koss Neager,

    )***%. 'espite a few studies highlighting thepositive effects of

    prior e&periences with cultural diversity, the lack of

    comple&ity and deficit notions held by preservice teachersinhibits their criti- cal consciousness. n particular,participants

    failed to recogni8e institutional ineuity and did not see how

    their own biases and stereotypes as future teachers perpetuated

    these ineuities.

    Time Period 8: 9ontemporary Research *33;0

    6ince the millennium, the research on preservice teachers

    per- spectives on cultural diversity, social ;ustice, and

    multicultural education has taken twopathways. 2irst, studies

    document the ongoing struggle with the lack of comple&ity in

    preservice teach- ers conceptions of multicultural issues and

    perceptions on diverse populations. 6econd, researchers now

    uestion which kinds of personal e&periences and what types

    of instructional techniues best foster openness to diversity.

    A lac1 of comple#ity in understanding multicultural issues.Preservice teachers continued to demonstrate a lack of

    understanding of multicultural education and the processes

    of institutionali8ed racism and oppression. After analy8ing the

    results from a mi&ed- method study of 1+ students enrolled

    in diversity courses, 5iddleton ("##"% concluded that although

    participants ?identified

    apRil #$

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    a willingness to teach from a multicultural perspective,@ they

    also e&hibited ?misunderstanding and misinterpretation of

    multicul- tural education, diversity, and the attitudes and skills

    needed for successful cross-cultural teaching@ (p. Bther researchers also documented this lack of critical

    con- sciousness. 2or e&ample, after administering to )!onnor reali8ed that participants

    ?silenced and muted interview data that contradicted their

    assumptions@ that schools represent meritocracies with eual

    opportunities for all students (p. 1$"%. 9hese findings suggest

    that cultural assump- tions of individualism and meritocracy

    are strongly embedded in preservice teachers. 9he studies from

    this and previous time peri- ods provide evidence that these

    ?culturally sanctioned assump- tions, myths, andbeliefs@ (=ing,

    )**), p. )B$% are indeed a ma;or root of ?dysconscious@


    9ontradictory perceptions concerning di&erse populations and social

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    American urban school%. Participants held lower e&pectations

    for Fative American and African American students and

    only wanted to teach in the 7hite suburban school.

    /ikewise, 0aldwin, 0uchanan, and Kudisill ("##% found that

    most of their

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    Inlike the previous timeperiods, a consistent theme of ste-

    reotypical and deficit thinking does not emerge from these stud-

    ies. nstead, these studies appear to offer contradictory

    findings about how preservice teachers view culturally

    diverse popula- tions, suggesting the need for further research

    in this area.

    The importance of !ac1ground e#periences. 6tudies during this

    time period demonstrated a link betweenpreservice teachers

    prior e&periences interacting with culturally diverse others and

    their support for multicultural education and teaching. 2irst,

    'ee and enkin ("##"% e&plored characteristics of the )$#

    partici- pants (study described earlier in this article% and

    reasoned that having e&periences interacting with culturally

    diverse others ?may be associated with attitudes favoring

    cultural diversity in education@ (p. B$%. =ey factors included

    living in culturally diverse neighborhoods and having cross-

    cultural friendships. /ikewise, Adams, 0ondy, and =uhel

    ("##$% investigated atti- tudes of )1 participants who

    participated in a service-learning tutoringpro;ect in an urban

    school. 6tudents who reported posi- tive feelings about

    working with minority students had prior knowledge or

    e&perience working with diverse peers, children, or families.9hese e&periences included having had friends and social

    interactions with culturally diverse others, prior commu- nity

    volunteering andGor activism, and positive family attitudes

    about issues of social ;ustice when growing up. 9hese studies

    sug- gest that prior e&periences with cultural diversity may

    predispose preservice teachers to greater acceptance of and

    appreciation for cultural diversity.

    9wo case studies show the importance of learning to reflect

    on prior e&periences with culturally diverse others. 6mith

    ("###% traced the personal biographies of two 7hite student

    teachers. 9he participant who embraced concepts of

    multicultural educa- tion had grown up in a working-class

    home and had e&perienced feeling marginali8ed as a 7hite

    student in a predominantly 0lack middle school and as an

    American student in a 3uam high school. 9hrough her

    e&periences, she reflected on cultural diver- sity and

    institutional ineuity, dismissing the myths of meritoc- racy

    and individualism. n a similar vein, 3armon ("##

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    in an urban school from their freshman year to their senior

    year. Although participants initially held stereotypes and

    lowered e&pectations for urban students, over time these

    concerns faded. According to researchers, the decline indicated

    that participants had become ?accustomed to the ethnic and

    cultural diversity@ as a result of field e&periences. /ikewise,

    0ell, orn, and Ko&as ("##% assessed changes in attitudes

    regarding teaching in a cul- turally diverse school of B#

    preservice teachers participating in a tutoring or mentoring

    pro;ect. 9hey found that by the end of the e&perience, tutorsand mentors adopted more advanced views of cultural

    diversity. 2inally, !ausey, 9homas, and Armento ("###%

    concluded thatparticipating in a cross-cultural e&perience had a

    positive impact on the multicultural disposition of the ""

    preser- vice teachers involved in an urban-based internship.

    9hey stressed the importance of reflection in the multicultural

    development of participants, claiming that participants ?who

    display a disposi- tion to thoughtfulness and reflection are

    most likely candidates for such cognitive restructuring and new

    learning@ (p.

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    n the contemporary time period ("###J"##%, the problem

    of the lack of comple&ity reached across several research

    studies. Preservice teachers e&pressed very positive views about

    cultural diversity but still held minimal understandings of

    what cultural diversity means and reuires (5iddleton, "##"

    7eisman 3ar8a, "##"%. 9his tendency toward

    oversimplification can make multicultural ideas less

    threatening, less political. Preservice teachers may readily

    advocate and clamor for multicultural edu- cation that supports

    a tolerance approach to diversity (6leeter 3rant, "##%without achieving the critical consciousness neces- sary to

    dismantle structural ineuity and interrogate dominant

    cultural assumptions embedded in these structural


    7hen compared with early research on the lack of

    tolerance and social interaction with culturally diverse others

    (0ennett et al., )**# /aw /ane, )*1 5artin 7illiams-

    'i&on, )**

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    aworth, "##"%. Keferring to data from the igher Lducation

    nstitute at the Iniversity of !alifornia, /os Angeles, Kaines

    ("##"% reported that ?kids grew up in the *#s and ##s with

    more daily interaction with other ethnicities and cultures

    than ever before.@ 0ased on the sentiments of these popular

    te&ts, the mil- lennial generation promises to embrace concepts

    of critical mul- ticultural education.

    0roido ("##

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    uncritical adoption of cultural assumptions that limit ones

    criti- cal consciousness of structural and institutional

    ineuity and 7hite privilege.

    0eliefs in individualism and meritocracy work hand-in-hand

    to construct a myth of euality. 9he concept of individualism

    assumes that every person controls her or his own destiny,

    outside of any structural or institutional barriers. A belief in

    meritocracy supports the view that success in society and

    schooling depends solely on ones own merit or hard work.

    9he cultural myth of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps stillthrives in mainstream American popular culture. 9hese

    beliefs allow individuals to blame oppressed peoples for

    their ?failure@ in the system of schooling rather than to

    recogni8e the system of failure embed- ded in institutional

    practices that disfavors and disenfranchises minority groups.

    Preservice teachers may feel that their achieve- ments resulted

    from their hard work, without being aware that they have

    been beneficiaries of institutional and social systems and

    offered more resources from which toparticipate in school- ing

    ('avis, )**$ 5ueller >!onnor, "##%. >nly when pre-

    service teachers confront beliefs in individualism and

    meritocracy can they envision real social change.

    Iniversal claims that preservice teachers are more open to

    cul- tural diversity are challenged by the persistent problem of

    the lack of comple&ity in their understandings of

    multiculturalism. At the heart of the issue is whether preservice

    teachers have the critical consciousness necessary to decipher

    the cultural logic that rein- forces the systems of ineuity that

    e&ist in our public schools. 5illennial generation college

    students who uphold ?generic@ ide- als of multicultural

    education and who lack critical awareness may stillbe asblind

    to oppression as their less tolerant predeces- sors "# years ago.

    )mplications for ?uture Research

    2uture research must diligently unpack the nature ofmillennial generation preservice teachers perspectives on

    cultural diversity, social ;ustice, and multiculturalism. Kesearch

    studies will need to address three key areas. 2irst, future studies

    ought to e&plore the influence of prior e&periences and social

    interactions with cultur- ally diverse others on preservice

    teachers openness to diversity. f millennial college students

    actually do maintain intercultural relationships and have

    multicultural e&periences, how do these preservice teachers

    reflect upon and internali8e these e&periencesE 'o these

    e&periences create opportunities to challenge stereo- types or

    only to foster e&ceptionalismE 2uture research ought to begin

    with the beliefs, attitudes, and prior e&periences that pre-

    service teachers alreadypossess.

    Kesearch should also focus on the specific teaching

    practices and curricular components that foster changes in the

    beliefs and attitudes of preservice teachers. 9hese studies will

    need to account for the influence of incoming beliefs before

    tracing the changes and development of the preservice

    teachersviews. n addition, such studies should e&plore ways in

    which preservice teachers can gain a sense of critical awareness

    about issues of ineuity.

    9hird, few studies investigated the ways in whichpreservice

    teachers of color interacted with notions of critical

    multicultural- ism. Kesearchers have suggested that preservice

    teachers are alien- ated or silenced in multicultural educationclasses ('elpit, )**$ 4illegas 'avis, "##1%. 6ome studies

    included in this synthesis

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    imply that participants of color hold more comple& and

    advanced views of multicultural education (!hi8hik

    !hi8hik, "##$ !ockrell et al., )*** 'ee enkin, "##"%,

    whereas other stud- ies (0akari, "##B /awrence 0unche,

    )**+ Kodrigue8 6;ostrom, )**1 6ong, "##+% show that

    students of color may be ?as susceptible to the same resistance

    or ignorance as 7hite pre- service teachers QareR@ (0akari,

    "##B, p. +$)%. 2uture research must address students of color

    as sub;ects, actors in critical mul- ticultural education, rather

    than as the ob;ects of multicultural education (5ontecinos,"##

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    !hi8hik, L. 7., !hi8hik, A. 7. ("##"%. A path to social

    changeC L&amining students responsibility, opportunity, and

    emotion toward social ;ustice. Education and r!an Society, 8/(B%,


    !hi8hik, L. 7., !hi8hik, A. 7. ("##$%. Are you privileged

    or oppressedE 6tudents conceptions of themselves and others.

    r!anEducation, /("%, ))+J)rr, S. ()**$%. ?ve really learned a lot, but . . .@C

    !ross- cultural understanding and teacher education in a racist

    society.$ournal of TeacherEducation, 6-($%, B"JBBB.

    2reire, P. ()***%.Pedagogy of the oppressed.Few NorkC !ontinuum.

    2ry, P. 3., 5c=inney, /. S. ()**%. A ualitative study of

    preservice teachers early field e&periences in an urban,culturally different school. r!an Education, 83("%, )1

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    3oodwin, A. /. ()**

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    pro!lems andpossi!ilities(Brd ed.,pp. J*+%. AlbanyC 6tate

    Iniversity of Few Nork Press.

    5arshall, P. /. ()**+%. 5ulticultural teaching concernsC Few

    dimen- sions in the area of teacher concerns researchE $ournal of

    EducationalResearch, ,+(+%, B)JB*.

    5artin, >., 7illiams-'i&on, K. ()**vercoming social

    distancebarriersC Preservice teachers perceptions of racial ethnic

    groups.$ournal of )ns tructional Psychology, 3(()%, +J1).

    5ay, 6. ()**1%. !ritical multiculturalism and cultural differenceC

    Avoiding essentialism. n 6. 5ay (Ld.%, 9ritical multiculturalism:

    Rethin1ing mulB ticultural and antiracist education (pp. ))Jife in schools:An introduction to critical pedagogy

    in the foundations of education (

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    diversityC A novice and an e&perienced teacher.$ournal of Teacher

    Education, /-(

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    different racialGethnic backgroundsC 2indings from a !alifornia study.

    $ournal of egro Educa tion, -6("%, )$)J)+B.

    9ie88i, /. S., !ross, 0. L. ()**%. Itili8ing research on

    prospective teachers beliefs to inform urban field e&periences.


    3+("%, ))BJ)"$.

    9orok, !. L., Aguilar, 9. L. ("###%. !hanges inpreservice teachers

    knowledge andbeliefs about language issues. E"uity and E#cellence in

    Education, 88("%, "

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


    #1 educational

  • 8/14/2019 Research in preservice teacher.doc


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    ducational Researcher*/ol. 09*o. * p. 0"%


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