Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Influence of Teacher Background on the Inclusion of Multicultural Education: A Case Study of Two Contrasts

Smith, R. W. (2000). The influence of teacher background on the inclusion of multicultural education: A case study of two contrasts. The Urban Review, 32(2), 155-176.

Summary: The article "The Influence of Teacher Background on the Inclusion of Multicultural Education: A Case Study of Two Contrasts" focuses on effective preparation for teachers in multicultural classrooms. It is critical of what is not happening to effectively prepare teachers in their teaching programs. It splits the essential needs of teacher into 3 important elements ultimately sating that in order to be successful teachers must take into account their background because it plays a large role in the interpretation of classroom situations, and behavior. The first background area is a combination of race, gender and social class membership. The second being prior experience with diversity and the third is support for ideologies of individualism. These factors are what the author finds to be most important through her study of trying to effectively teach in classrooms that are multicultural.

Quote: "In addition to inexperience with culturally diverse people, members of the dominant cultural groups often view the structure of society from a culturally privileged perspective (Boyle-Baise, 1995). Consequently, preservice teachers often support ideologies of individualism opposing structural explanations of, for example, chronic child poverty (Davis, 1995)."

Comment: This quote struck me because it made me think of my experiences and how it plays a role as to who I am as a teacher. I grew up a latino lower middle class student with family on both sides of the spectrum. While I come from parents who were very poor, I never had to deal with the issues they struggled with daily. That being said, I wonder how things might be different for me as an educator if that were the case.

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