Diversity Training, Educational Equity, and Teacher Preparation Programs: The Promise of Multiculturalism

By Grace Lappin and Renee White-Clark.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the United States and around the globe, faculty in institutions of higher learning, whose job it is to prepare future teachers, are concerned about inadequate multicultural preparation and insufficient student-teaching experiences with children from diverse communities. Research indicates many teachers are not prepared to meet the requirements of students from varied backgrounds with diverse learning needs. Studies further confirm disparities exist in the quality of educational experiences that currently exist between majority and minority students in schools, not only in the US, but around the world; this results, in part, from poor teacher preparation. There is pressing call for appropriate policy and continued focus on educational equity. Each country throughout the world has attempted and continues to attempt, with varying degrees of success, to institute policies that guarantee educational equity to meet the needs of individual minority groups. Schools around the world are attempting to address the complexities of such educational issues and meet the needs of all students by revamping schools in ways that facilitate educational equity. This article will explore the importance of multiculturalism as a focus and practice in teacher preparation programs; the importance of incorporating multiculturalism across all disciplines and throughout all educational experiences, not only teacher preparation; and its effect on educational equity world-wide. Dr. White-Clark and Dr. Lappin are co-principal authors equally responsible for the material presented here.

Keywords: Diversity, Multiculturalism, Teacher Preparation

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.109-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 491.972KB).

Dr. Grace Lappin

Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA

Dr. Grace Lappin completed her studies at Columbia University. Her dissertation was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairments (CEC-DV I) Dissertation of the Year Award in 2003. She is certified by CEC as a Professionally Recognized Special Educator and Clinical Diagnostician, the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) as an Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) and by Foundations for Healthy Family Living (FHFL) as an Instructor of Infant Massage Practice (CIIM). Dr. Lappin has presented internationally on many subject areas including early childhood blindness, family literacy, teachers’ perceptions of diversity and multiculturalism, attachment formation in infants with disabilities, infant massage, and cross-cultural analysis of caregiver interactions; she maintains an active research agenda. In her private practice she addresses issues of child development, attachment, family and sibling support, and developmental variations.

Dr. Renee White-Clark

Associate Professor, Literacy- Education, St. Joseph's College, Patchogue, New York, USA

Dr. White-Clark's experience as an educator spans over 20 years. She has assumed a variety of roles in the field of education including classroom teacher, reading specialist, administrator, and higher education faculty member. In addition to her role as associate professor, she is currently Director of Scholarship in Teaching and Learning. Her experience in urban and suburban school districts is highly respected and prompted her research interests in multiculturalism. She has written and presented on this topic as well as other aspects of diversity on an international basis. As a teacher educator her primary goals are twofold; first, to prepare future teachers and administrators for work with diverse populations; and second, to sensitize her undergraduate and graduate students to implement culturally responsive instruction in today's inclusive classrooms.

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