Working with Diverse Student Populations: Examining Teacher Candidates' Multicultural Efficacy
Dr. Gail Cueto Perez de Alejo.
The demographic profile of students in U.S. schools, particularly in urban settings stand out because of their remarkable cultural and linguistic diversity and their rapidly increasing numbers. As a teacher educator I believe that examining our preservice teachers’ levels of multicultural efficacy - the confidence of being able to effectively work with diverse populations in the classroom -can serve as indicators of the kinds of teacher education experiences we need to develop in our curriculums in order to produce teachers who can be successful working with diverse learners. In an attempt to address this issue, for the past few years, I have undertaken a systematic study of my students’ multicultural efficacy. My objectives are the presentation/discussion of:
1- The Multicultural Efficacy Scale [MES] (Guyton and Wesche 1996) The MES, a 35-item instrument, examines the experience, attitude, efficacy and the subjects’ view of the major purpose of multicultural teaching. It is a useful tool in measuring changes in preservice teachers’ confidence or sense of efficacy in working with diverse student populations in the classroom.
2. Data analysis and results from approximately 300 pre-service teacher responses to the MES. I compared first-year education students to their counterparts who are at the completion of their training and engaged in student teaching. The MES has been shown to be a useful tool in measuring changes in preservice teachers as they are trained in multicultural education. The results of the data analysis will be the basis of my presentation.
Dr. Gail Cueto Perez de Alejo (United States)
Department of Teacher Education
Central Connecticut State University
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)