Examining the Practice of Critical Reflection for Developing Pre-Service Teachers Multicultural Competencies: Findings from a Study Abroad Program in HondurasReport as inadecuate




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Issues in Teacher Education, v20 n2 p9-22 Fall 2011

In response to a critical need in teacher preparation, study abroad programs aimed at developing multicultural competencies in pre-service teachers have proliferated across the United States. Multicultural competencies constitute the ability to challenge misconceptions that lead to discrimination based on cultural difference, reflect on one's assumptions and biases, and create a classroom environment sensitive to the cultural background and academic needs of all students. Research has shown that a majority of pre-service teachers are White, middle class, and monolingual speakers of English with little or no exposure to the diverse backgrounds and cultural knowledge of non-White students. Many pre-service teachers do not engage in the social, historical, and political issues that relate directly to inequality and lack of opportunities among different cultural groups in schools and society. Consequently, teacher preparation for multicultural education attempts to address these issues by bringing a change in pre-service teachers' perceptions of self and other by providing opportunities for critical reflection through course work, cross-cultural field experiences, and study abroad programs. In this article the authors examine how critical reflection during a study abroad program to Honduras facilitates pre-service teachers' multicultural competencies for personal and professional growth. They position this study within teacher education literature with a focus on multicultural education, study abroad, and critical reflection. Next, they draw from Dewey's notion of critical reflection to provide the conceptual framework for the study. Subsequently, they highlight a specific study abroad program to Honduras as the context of the study. They follow this with an outline of the basic qualitative research design and report findings from the study. They conclude with a discussion on the implications of their study for teacher preparation and teacher educators invested in developing multicultural competencies in pre-service teachers.

Descriptors: Preservice Teacher Education, Qualitative Research, Multicultural Education, Cross Cultural Training, Field Experience Programs, Cultural Differences, Monolingualism, Foreign Countries, Interpersonal Competence, Study Abroad, Sensitivity Training, Reflection, Interviews, Student Teacher Attitudes, Demography, Educational Practices, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Participant Satisfaction

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Author: Sharma, Suniti; Phillion, JoAnn; Malewski, Erik

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1413&id=EJ954551



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