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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Amy Sue DeSonia
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Public Affairs and Administration
Title: An Evaluative Model for Incorporating Diversity Training into Teacher Preparation
Dr. Barbara S. Liggett, Chair
Dr. Robert A. Peters
Dr. Maureen Steen
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
211 East Walwood
In 1949, W.E.B. Dubois noted, “Of all the rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental.” Yet, inequity, so deeply embedded in the United States public education system, severely inhibits the free exercise of this right by many. Teachers struggle to teach, and students struggle to learn. (Darling-Hammond, 2000) Preparing pre-service teachers for diversity in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade (PK-12) classrooms throughout the United States is becoming increasingly urgent based on demographic trends – students will progressively become more diverse as they represent different races, ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and bring differences in language, linguistics, and abilities to the fore. At the same time, the pipeline for teacher candidates will remain predominantly, white, middle-class, and female (deMarrais and LeCompte, 1999; Gay, 1997; Sleeter, 1993).
In an era of increasing accountability, means and methods to ensure the efficacy of teacher preparation programs in addressing the increasing diversity in K-12 classrooms in the United States are critical to growth, change, and improvement.
Neither a comprehensive model for integrating the elements requisite to the appropriate training for diversity into the development and implementation of teacher preparation programs, nor a correspondent tool to evaluate institutional performance appears to exist. Proactive, systematic internal evaluation of the impact of diversity training on pre-service teacher candidate preparation for PK-12 classrooms can assist in the design and development of more effective programs.
This study determined the key components of program design and delivery that enhance preparation for diversity. It also noted critical internal and external supports for and constraints on pre-service candidates’ ability to actively apply what they learn. As a result, a predictive model and correspondent evaluation guide for determining the incorporated level of training for the increasing diversity in PK-12 classrooms was developed and validated through evaluation of an existing pre-service teacher preparation program for Elementary certification. This adaptable, outcomes-based evaluation tool may serve as a critical component of effective reform in teacher preparation program development.