April 2, 2008

Preparing Preservice Educators for Cultural Diversity: How Far Have We Come?

By Trent, Stanley C Kea, Cathy D; Oh, Kevin

ABSTRACT: This article reviews research on the incorporation of multicultural education in preservice general and special education teacher preparation programs from 1997 to 2006. A total of 46 studies, 39 from general education and 7 from special education teacher education programs, met the criteria for inclusion in this literature review. Findings revealed that very few changes have occurred in this body of research in terms of the quantity, topics addressed, methods used, and gaps since the last time this literature was reviewed, in 1998 and in 2004. Despite these limitations, strengths are emerging in this body of research that can be used to pave the way for a more substantive and comprehensive research agenda in the future. For the fitst time in its history, the United States is engaged in large-scale reforms designed to achieve both excellence and equity in public school education (Thurlow, 2002). One reason for the continued focus on equity in reauthorized legislation such as No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) has been the continued poot academic, social, and postsecondary outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners from economically disadvantaged backgrounds (Lee, 2006). More specifically, although both NCLB and IDEA include guidelines to protect the rights of CLD learners, current research reveals that many of these students continue to fail in school at rates that are significantly higher than those of White students (Lee), and that they are overrepresented in the high-incidence special education categories (Blanchett, 2006; Klingner er al., 2005). Moreover, research shows that, after placement into special education, significant numbers of CLD students may spend more time in pull-out and residential special education programs than their White counterparts (Trent & Artiles, 2007). Researchers have also found parallels between school failure and confinement in the juvenile justice system among CLD students (Drakeford & Staples, 2006). At the other end of the spectrum, Ford (1998), Ford, Grantham, and Whiting (2008) and Miller (2000) found that some groups of CLD learners are significantly underrepresented in programs for the gifted and talented.

Interestingly, NCLB and IDEA are being implemented at a time when schools are becoming more racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse. In contrast, the teacher population is becoming more White, female, and middle class (Children's Defense Fund, 2004; Trent & Artiles, 2007). Based on this current state of affairs, education organizations, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and advocacy groups have called for substantive changes in teacher education programs (TEPs; e.g., Sorrells, Webb-Johnson, & Townsend, 2004). Some recommendations include: (a) increase the diversity among TEP faculty, (b) recruit more CLD students into TEPs, and (c) prepare White preservice and inservice teachets to provide culturally responsive instruction for all learners.

But what is culturally responsive instruction and how should it look in TEPs and preschool/early childhood through 12th-grade classrooms (P-12)? Based on this question and the dismal outcomes presented previously, the purpose of this literature review was threefold: First, we reviewed the research on teacher education preparation for diversity in both general and special education to determine the quantity, quality, and topics in the recent literature. second, we examined how far we have come over the last decade in preparing teacher candidates to work with CLD students with and without disabilities in P-12 schools. Third, we used our analysis to develop recommendations for future research and practice in the area of multicultural teacher education in general education and special education. A major recommendation, presented neat the end of the article, is the need to examine the cultural-historical contexts that have influenced the quantity and quality of research on the inclusion of multicultural education in TEPs.



Partly due to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and subsequent widespread advocacy and dispersion of multicultural approaches, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) developed recommendations to address TEP multicultural issues in the mid- to late 1970s (James, 1978). Concurrently, the Association of Teachet Educators (ATE) identified diversity standards. Both organizations recognized the disparities that existed in the academic achievement of CLD students with and without disabilities in Grades P-12 and the need to prepare teacher candidates to demonstrate competency in theii design and delivery of instruction for these students. Consequently, NCATE and ATE expect institutions of higher education to provide teachet candidates with varied cross-cultural experiences with faculty, candidates, and students in P-12 schools (NCATE, 2007; ATE, n.d.). As a result of these requiremenrs, some TEPs across the country began to incorporate multicultural content into both their general and special education courses (Banks, 2006). Furthermore, educational researchers and theorists began to publish information about multicultural education in educational research journals. In fact, Teacher Education and Special Education and The journal of Teacher Education devoted special issues to the incorporation of multicultural content in TEPs at the course and programmatic levels (Gonzales, 1979; James, 1978).

In 1993, Banks identified a typology of multicultural education approaches that was used in some TEPs to address NCATE and ATE's standards for cultural diversity. This typology included (a) the contributions approach (accomplishments and achievements of historically marginalized groups); (b) the additive approach (added content that does not challenge a Eurocentric petspective); (c) the transformation approach (presentation of multiple perspectives that are integrated and not just added to the curriculum); and (d) the social justice approach (decision making and social action).


Literature reviews conducted between the 1990s and the present reveal that some research has been conducted on multicultural education in teachet education. The most current and comprehensive review, conducted by Cochran-Smith, Davis, and Fries (2004), is unique in that it not only critiqued research on multicultural education, but also examined theoretical and conceptual frameworks, practice, and the politics associated with programming and funding from 1992 through 2001. Cochran-Smith et al. found that one of the major themes across theorists and researchers was the need for the centralization of multicultural education within the entire program versus a predominant focus on stand-alone courses. Additional recommendations included the need for (a) incorporating multiple perspectives, such as critical race theory, to explain school failure (Ladson-Billings, 1999); (b) transformative learning experiences for preservice educatots and teacher candidates to interrupt a seamless ideology grounded in meritocracy theory (Sleeter, 1996); (c) an expanded knowledge base and curricula to challenge traditional knowledge needed to prepare teachers for diversity (Irvine, 1997); (d) inquiry-based approaches that facilitate preservice teachers' skills to transform multicultural theories into practice (Gay, 2002); (e) research to determine the effects of multicultural teacher preparation on teachers and their students; and (f) recruitment practices designed to increase the number of CLD teachers. Moreover, CochranSmith et al. called for further examination of external forces that have resulted in the marginalization of multicultural teachet preparation and funding for research. They also recommended that future research examine the interactions between national accreditation systems and multicultural education. In this vein, they questioned if accreditation systems will be compatible or conflicting with state regulations regarding multicultural training for preservice teachets.

Others who have reviewed research on multicultural education have made similar recommendations. For instance, over a decade ago, Grant and Tate (1995) found 47 studies that focused on multicultural training for preservice teachets. As a follow-up, Grant, Elsbiee, and Fondrie (2004) conducted a review from 1990 through 2001, and found 39 studies devoted to multicultural education and teacher education. Of these, 17 studies examined preservice teachets' attitudes and beliefs about self, others, and schools; 16 studies focused on curriculum/instruction issues, such as best practice, learning, and culturally relevant pedagogy; 5 examined TEPs to determine effects on teacher candidates; and 1 explored achievement issues, such as academic problems faced by student teachers in urban settings.

Grant et al. (2004) concluded that, although there has been an increase in the number of publications that have explored multicultural education (including those not related to preservice preparation), there are also barriers that must be addressed if the field is to move forward. These barriers include "conceptual confusion, researcher epistemological bias, funding, and research acceptance in the academy" (p. 200). To address these barriers, they recommended that researchers (a) define the term "multicultural education" within the context of the program; (b) focus less on single atttibutes of CLD learners (e.g., race) and more on issues of power, equity, and social justice; (c) conduct more longitudinal studies that will provide a chain of inquiry; (d) de-emphasize the traditional deficit perspective; (e) broaden the definition of "historically underserved populations" to include other cultural matkers besides race (e.g., disabilities, gender); and (f) provide more thorough descriptions of methods used to conduct studies. Fewer studies have been conducted in special education. In our search, we found 2 studies that have critiqued the state of multicultural education in special education preservice programs (i.e., Voltz, Dooley, & Jefferies, 1999; Webb-Johnson, Artiles, Trent, Jackson, & Velox, 1998). The Voltz et al. review was not limited to research, but also critiqued issues similar to those examined by Cochran- Smith et al. (e.g., conceptual and theoretical frameworks, systemic and political issues within TEPs; 2004). Webb-Johnson et al. found 8 databased articles focused on the preparation of special education teachets for diversity between 1982 and 1997. Consistent with the authors mentioned earlier, they concluded that this research was limited in scope and was mostly concerned with "linking process variables (e.g., course content, fieldwork, observations) with outcome variables (e.g., attitudes, perceptions of value)" (p. 9). The most frequently addressed topics were "(a) the characteristics of candidates and staff; (b) content and methods of the program; and (c) impact of the program" (p. 9). Webb-Johnson et al.-along with Davis (2001) and Voltz et al.-also found that few of the studies provided specific information about the theoretical framework or themes that guided the course or program. For the most part, professors used multicultural approaches focused on student characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, language, and class. Also, the majority of the studies used quantitative methods in the form of questionnaires and surveys. WebbJohnson et al.'s conclusions were similar to those reported by Cochran-Smith et al. (2004) and Grant et al. (2004). They recommended rhat future research (a) include additional dependent variables; (b) move beyond surveys and questionnaires; (c) incorporate more qualitative methods to identify process variables and teacher learning over time; (d) elucidate contextual factors within the TEP; and (e) minimize the perpetuation of stereotypes by focusing more on intergroup versus intragroup comparison designs.

Based on this review of the extant literature, the specific research questions for the current review were:

1. To what extent has research on TEPs focused on multicultural issues in general education and special education between 1997 and 2006?

2. What journals published these studies?

3. Who published the studies (i.e., did a few researchers author most of the studies)?

4. What are the characteristics of the participants?

5. What topics/themes have been explored?

6. What similarities and differences exist between the general education and special education studies?

7. Are there changes in the type of research that has been conducted? If so, what are the changes?

8. Are there gaps in the research? If so, what are they?


Our criteria for selecting manuscripts for this review, a modified version of the criteria from Artiles, Trent, and Kuan (1997), included:

* The articles were peer reviewed and databased; they had quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method designs, and were based on primary or secondary data. Theoretical and/or opinion papers were used to inform our work, but were not included in the data analysis.

* The studies examined preservice teachers enrolled in general education and special education programs.

* The studies were concerned with any topic related to the preparation of preservice general educators and special educators to teach CLD students with and without disabilities.


We selected articles published from 2001 through 2006 for general education and from 1997 through 2006 for special education; these dates were determined based on the last years searched in the latest general (Cochran-Smith et al., 2004; Grant et al., 2004) and special education (Voltz et al., 1999; Webb-Johnson et al., 1998) reviews. First, we hand searched handbooks and journals rhat were likely to publish research or reviews on multicultural education in teacher education programs from 1997 through 2006 (i.e., Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, Multicultural Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, and Praeger Handbook of Special Education). Next, we searched the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) database, PsycINFO, and Education Fulltext, using the descriptors preservice teacher(s) or preservice teacher(s) with multiculturalism or multicultural education or cultural diversity, and special education or teacher education preservice teachers. This search yielded 121 records. Two research assistants read each article's abstract to determine if the content met the aforementioned a priori criteria. Using Kazden's formula, an interrater reliability of 1.0 was obtained for article selection. This process decreased the number of articles to 70, which were entered into a table for further scrutiny. Using the selection criteria and the table, each author reviewed the abstracts individually, with an interrater reliability of .85. Fifty-six articles remained in the database after disagreements were discussed and reconciled; 47 were from general education programs and 9 were from special education programs. Eight of the 9 special education studies were conducted in ptograms that offered dual licensure in general and special education, often times referred to as unified programs. For clarity's sake, we refer to these publications as special education studies throughout the remainder of the article.

At this point, the authors, along with research assistants, hand searched the references in the previous literature reviews cited above to determine if any were critiqued in othet literature reviews. Ten duplications were found, 8 from the general education studies and 2 from the special education studies. Deletion of these duplications resulted in a total of 46 studies, 39 from general education, and 7 from special education.

The authors and two other research assistants used a coding sheet similar to the one used by Ar tiles et al. (1997) to code the content of the articles. Based on reading and coding the articles, the research assistants revised the coding sheet to account for methods and measures that were not included on the original coding sheet. Our ancestral search revealed no additional studies; we commenced coding data from the 46 articles at this point.


Coded data were entered into Excel files and then imported to the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version 14.0) software. Descriptive statistics were then generated to compare frequency of occurrence for each variable.



The general education studies were published in the following 22 journals; numbers in parentheses indicate rhe number of studies published in each journal, if more than 1: Action in Teacher Education (2); Childhood Education (2); Early Child Development and Care, Education and Urban Society, Equity & Excellence in Education (4); The High School fournal (2); fournal of Curriculum Theorizing', fournal of Instructional Psychology, fournal of Research in Science Teaching, fournal of Teacher Education (4); Kappa Delta Pi Record; Multicultural Education (3); Multicultural Perspectives; The Negro Educational Review (2); Race, Ethnicity and Education; Teacher Education and Special Education; Teacher Education Quarterly (2); The Teacher Educator, Teachers College Record; Teaching and Teacher Education (2); Urban Education (3); and The Urban Review (2). Sixty- six authors contributed to this body of work; 6 authors contributed to 2 articles each (Btown, Lenski, Crumpler, Milner, Taylor, and Sobel); the remaining authors contributed to 1 article.

Methodological Characteristics of the Research. An interesting finding was that there was significant variation in the sample sizes across the general education studies. The total numbet of participants in these studies was 2,048. The mean sample size was 53 and the median was 31. Differences are due to the fact that 37 of the studies had sample sizes between 1 and 129, and 2 had sample sizes between 158 and 361. Also, 4 of the studies were case studies where data from only one or two teacher candidates were reported. Hence, the majority of the studies used small sample sizes. Foutteen of the studies (35.9%) used convenience sampling, 33.3% (n = 13) used screened or purposive samples, 25.6% (n = 10) did not provide information about the sampling process, and 5.1% (n = 2) used random samples. However, because most universities seldom schedule students into courses randomly, we speculate that convenience sampling was used in most of the studies that did not identify sampling procedures.

Qualitative methods were used exclusively in 64.1% (n = 25) of the studies. Data collection tools included focus groups, pre- and postinterviews, reflection journals, syllabi, notes on classroom presentations, field notes, and observations in courses and internship sites. Researchers analyzed data using theme category analysis, the constant comparative method, retrospective analysis, and QRS Nudist software. The 14 remaining studies wete divided evenly between quantitative designs and mixed designs. Quantitative data collection tools included pre- and postmulticultural lesson plans, and pre- and postcourse surveys/questionnaires. Data analysis methods used in these studies included descriptive statistics, chi square, t tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Data collection tools used in the mixed-method studies consisted of pre- and postconcept maps, surveys, interviews, and lesson delivery videotapes; researchers used the constant comparative method, theme analysis, and t tests to analyze data. We considered studies to be longitudinal if they were conducted ovet a period of 1 year or longer. Eight studies (20.5%) met this criterion.

Reliability (e.g., instruments, intettater reliability for coding), and validity of measures were reported in only 15% (n = 5) of the studies. Reliability quotients ranged from .56 to .90, whereas validity coefficients were all .90.

Characteristics of the Participants. Descriptive statistics tevealed that percentages fot race and gender were similar in this group of studies and that the majority of the participants in the samples were White and female. More specifically, 30.8% (n = 12) of the samples were racially homogenous (White) and 69.2% (n = 27) were racially heterogeneous (African American, Asian, Latino, Native American, and White). Regarding gender, 33% (n = 13) of the samples were comprised of females only and 66.7% (n - 26) were comprised of males and females. In keeping with national statistics (Rice & Goessling, 2005), there were few males in rhe heterogeneous samples. In 25.6% (n = 10) of the studies that reported socioeconomic status (SES) data, most of the patticipants were from middle- and upper middle-class backgrounds. The race of the experimenters was reported in only 15.4% (n = 6) of the studies. Three researchers reported that they were White and three reported that they were African American.

Topics/Themes Explored. The categories that emerged from our analysis were three of the five used by Grant et al. (2004): (a) attitudes/beliefs, (b) curriculum/insttuction, and (c) effects on teacher candidates. We expanded the latter category to include effects on teachet educatots as well, because we found two studies that examined the effects of a course on the professors who taught them. Sixty-one percent (n = 24) of the studies focused on teachet candidates' attitudes and beliefs about self, program efficacy, and complexity of teaching in culturally diverse environments (e.g., Atkinson & Gabbard, 2003; Au & Blake, 2003; Barnes, 2006; Boyle- Baise, 2005; Brand & Glasson, 2004; Brindley & Laframboise, 2002; Brown, 2005; case & Hemmings, 2005; Cho & DeCastro-Ambrosetti, 2005; Dome, Prado-Olmos, & Ulanoff, 2005; Lenski, Crumpler & Stallworth, 2005; Middleton, 2002; Milner, Flowers & Moore, 2003; Pappamihiel, 2004; Sobel & Taylor, 2005; Song, 2006; Subedi, 2006; Swartz, 2003; Taylor & Sobel, 2001; Turner-Vorbeck, 2005; Ukpokodu, 2004; Van Hook, 2002; Walker-Dalhouse & Dalhouse, 2006; Weisman & Garza, 2002).

Case and Hemmings (2005) provide an example of studies that examined attitudes and be liefs among White female preservice teachers. Through observations and interviews with 47 teacher candidates ranging in age from 19 to 28, case and Hemmings studied how these participants responded to an antiracist curriculum when engaged in conversations about racial inequities in schools. There were three sections of the coutse; one section was taught by an African American male instructor and two wete taught by a White female instructor. The researchers were not involved in planning or teaching the course.

Case and Hemmings (2005) used a qualitative approach to collect data for their study, including observations during class discussions. In addition, 17 of the teacher candidates volunteered to participate in semistructured interviews for extra credit. Grounded theory analysis of the data revealed that many of the teacher candidates used several distancing strategies to avoid interactive discussions about racial inequities. These strategies included silence among family and friends, and in the classroom. Another distancing strategy, social disassociation, manifested itself when preservice teachets attempted to convince peers that they were not racist and avoided classes focused on social and educational inequity. The third distancing strategy was associating themselves with the "good" White label. More specifically, when given opportunities to discuss racial or cultural issues, most of the students chose culture. They argued that race should be addressed within the broader context of culture to demonstrate that race and color no longer influence outcomes for CLD learners. They also embraced the idea of color-blindness; they did not "see" color when interacting with friends, colleagues, and students. Separation from responsibility was another distancing strategy. For instance, many of the teacher candidates supported the claims that racism was a thing of the past, affirmative action programs resulted in reverse discrimination, and failure to respond appropriately to a meritocracy more than racism may account for the problems CLD people face in schools and the larger society.

To minimize the influence of distancing strategies, case and Hemmings (2005) recommended that preservice teachers be taught to engage in discourses that "encourage open and honest discussion that promotes critical, yet respectful, analysis of White talk" (p. 624). For instance, they recommended the use of a metadialogic approach explicitly articulating distancing strategies so that preservice teachers will be consciously aware of their intentions when engaged in discussions about racial inequity in education. They also hypothesized that the use of this approach might facilitate mutual construction of new antiracist linguistic norms in classrooms.

Four studies (10.2%) explored aspects of curriculum and instruction used to prepare teachers for diversity (Ambrosio, Sequin & Hogan, 2001, lesson planning; Butler, Lee & Tippins, 2006, case- based methods; Milnet, 2006, cultural and racial awareness and insight, critical reflection, and bridging theory and practice; Nash, 2005, patriotism and citizenship). Ambrosio et al., for instance, studied the effects of a lesson plan evaluation approach on preservice teachers' abilities to incorporate culturally responsive elements into their planning. Participants were 361 preservice teachers completing student teaching at Emporia State University (84 males, 277 females, 310 elementary majors, 51 middle/ secondary majors, 93.1% White, and 6.9% students of color). After reviewing the multicultural education literature, the faculty developed an evaluation rubric containing four factors to evaluate lesson plans (i.e., objectives, mechanics, rationale, and inclusivity). Performance scores were incomplete, unsatisfactory, developing, and proficient.

Results indicated that half of the student teachers demonstrated minimal skills in creating multicultural/diversity lesson plans. "Common themes contributing to low scores included approaching rhe lesson plan requirement by 'adding on' a multicultural component as an afterthought, omitting assessment, limiting assessment options targeting learning at knowledge (factual) levels, and not personally addressing ESL needs" (p. 20). Ambrosio et al. (2001) were among the few researchers who examined factors beyond the classroom that may have affected outcomes. One such factor was that course offerings were driven by state licensure and national guidelines. These requirements sometimes limit the number of courses that students can take that address cultural and linguistic diversity. Also, multicultural content and strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners were infused into the program and there were no stand- alone courses that specifically addressed these issues. Another explanation for student performance was the demands of student teaching. Because 40 assignments were due as a part of the student teaching experience, Ambrosio et al. suspected that the multicultural lesson plan assignment might have received varying attention, especially if university supervisors were more focused on student teachers' performance in the classroom rather than on assignments. The researchers concluded that comprehensive performance-based assessments are tools that can help teacher educators identify goals and objectives for multicultural education and all other components of the TEP (also see Cartledge & Kourea, 2008). They also concluded that petformance-based assessments can help TEPs replace vague program objectives with more measurable ones and facilitate more effective program evaluation.

Eleven studies (28.8%) examined the effects of the course or program on teacher candidates or course instructors (Brown, 2004; Duarte & Reed, 2004; Escantilla & Nathenson-Mejia, 2003; Hyland & Noffke, 2005, students and instructors; Kidd, Sanchez, & Thorp, 2004; Knight, 2004; Lenski, Crawford & Crumpler, 2005; Leonard & Leonard, 2006; McDonald, 2005; Moule, 2005, instructor; Zygmunt- Fillwalk & Leitze, 2006). Hyland and Noffke, as both course instructors and researchers, conducted longitudinal action research to examine questions about their own thinking and practice while teaching a social studies methods course with a fieldwork component. Another objective of the course was to help students understand group marginality while completing social and community inquiry assignments (e.g., engaging in a community activity where they are in the minority). Participants were 198 preservice teachers from two different universities. The majority of these students were White, female, and between the ages of 19 and 21. Of the remaining students, 10 were White males, 7 were African American females, 5 were East Asian females, and 5 were Latina females. Data collection instruments included journal reflections on assignments, medial course evaluations, observations of in-class presentations, instructor reflections, and audiotapes from seven focus groups. Hyland and Noffke analyzed these data using standard qualitative methods along with narrative and epiphonic analysis (see Denzin, 2001, for descriptions of epiphonic analysis). Hyland and Noffke (2005) organized their results under two broad categories: (a) preservice teachers' understandings about the dynamics of marginality and (b) the identification of course components that deepened understanding about marginality and social justice. The researchers found that the course had a positive effect on teacher candidates' understanding of marginality. For instance, perspective teachers gained a better understanding of themselves in relationship to oppression, were able to identify structural inequalities that sustain marginalization, and developed empathy for or a change of heart about marginalized groups. Course components that supported key understandings included interacting with people from historically marginalized groups and deconstructing presuppositions through discussion and critical reflection. Hyland and Noffke also identified contradictions and conflicts that provide implications for future research. Like Ambrosio et al. (2001), they identified systemic constraints within TEPs that make it difficult to provide the experiences outlined ear lier to all students (e.g., some students may choose to do fieldwork in privileged schools). They expressed concern that pedagogy and content may reinforce White privilege by creating voyeuristic opportunities for future educators to observe others without challenging their beliefs or giving voice to the observed. In addition, the authors questioned whether evoking sympathy was enough to instill in their students the need to teach for social justice and change. Along these lines, they were concerned that the limited community experiences and assignments might minimize the experience of oppression and marginalization.

Twenty-two of the studies did not identify theoretical framework. Of the remaining studies, 3 used critical race theory, 2 used critical theory, 3 used antiracist theory, and 5 used Banks's typology (1993). Other theories included patriotism (Nash, 2005); Bennett's model of interculrural sensitivity (Pappamihiel, 2004); intersectionality (Subedi, 2006); and emancipatory pedagogies (Swartz, 2003).


The special education studies (see Table 1) were published in five journals: Multicultural Perspectives, Remedial and Special Education, Rural Educator, Teacher Education and Special Education (3), and Teacher Education Quarterly. Seventeen authors contributed to this body of research; one author (Trent) contributed to 3 articles and one (Correa) contributed to 2 articles.

Methodological Characteristics of the Research. As with the genetal education studies, there was much variation in these studies' sample sizes. The total number of participants in all the studies was 767, with a mean of 109.6 and a median of 41. The largest sample size was 532, with the next highest sample being 68. Convenience samples were used in 57% (n = 4) of the studies, random samples in 29% (n = 2), and purposive samples in 14% (n = 1).

Researchers used quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to collect the data for these studies. Forty-three percent (n = 3) used quantitative methods exclusively, 43% (n = 3) used mixed methods, and 14% (n = 1) used qualitative methods exclusively; qualitative data were collected via audiotaped interviews, transcripts, written reflections, postconference evaluations, and lesson observations. Two primary tools, surveys (57%, n = 4) and questionnaires (43%, n = 3), were used to obtain student information. Tests used to analyze data included descriptive statistics, tests, chi square, ANOVA, MANOVA, ANCOVA, correlation, and univariate analysis. Reliability of instruments was reported in 57% (n = 4) of the studies with a range from .72 to .91; although validity was mentioned in 29% (n = 2) of the studies, no validity coefficients were reported.


Empirical Studies on Multicultural Preservice Teacher Preparation (Special Education)


Empirical Studies on Multicultural Preservice Teacher Preparation (Special Education)


Empirical Studies on Multicultural Preservice Teacher Preparation (Special Education)


Empirical Studies on Multicultural Preservice Teacher Preparation (Special Education)

Characteristics of the Participants. With respect to race and SES, most of the courses or programs were racially heterogeneous, with White middle-class females comprising the majority of the participants. Unlike the general education studies, however, 1 of the samples (Kea, Trent, & Davis, 2002) was comprised solely of African American preservice teachers. Only I study (Adams, Bondy, & Kuhel, 2005) reported participant SES. Authors in 29% (n = 2) of the studies provided information about their own race, which was White (Dinsmore & Hess, 1999) and African American (Trent & Dixon, 2004).

Topics/Themes Explored. The topics and themes addressed in this group of studies fell under two categories: (a) attitudes/beliefs and (b) effects on teacher candidates. Fifty-seven percent (n = 4) of the studies focused on attitudes and beliefs about multiple factors including self, others, multicultural education, the course, and/or the TEP (Correa, Hudson, & Hayes, 2004; Kea et al., 2002; Trent & Dixon, 2004; Trent, Pernell, Mungai, & Chimedza, 1998). Correa et al. provide an example of the attitudes/belief studies. The purpose of the study was to compare 45 preservice teachers' attitudes and beliefs about multicultural education before and after an early childhood special education course with a permeating multicultural thread. The researchers used pre- and postconcept maps and comparative postcourse paragraphs to collect data. Results from this mixed methods design revealed similarities and differences between students' pre- and postmaps; in general, students' postcourse paragraphs were consistent with the pre- and postmaps. Also, like Trent et al. (1998), they found that teacher candidates developed a "broader definition of diversity after the course, a shift from the general to the specific, and new concepts in the postcourse maps related to instruction and curriculum that were not present in the precourse maps" (p. 338). Although Correa et al. found the use of concept maps beneficial, they also recommended the use of multiple tools (e.g., interviews and observations) to trace conceptual change in teachers during their enrollment in their TEPs.

Forty-three percent (n = 3) of the studies focused on program efficacy (Adams et al., 2005; Daunic, Correa & Reyes-Blanes, 2004; Dinsmore & Hess, 1999). Daunic et al. used performance-based assessment (e.g., nine criteria from the Praxis III) to identify 51 first-year teachers' perceptions about their ability to provide culturally responsive teaching (CRT) as a result of their enrollment in four TEPs in Florida. Daunic et al. also sought to determine if differences existed between preservice teachers as a result of the programs they attended (i.e., general education or special education), and their perceptions about the level of CRT training received (high or low). Comparisons were made across the demographic variables of age, gender, race, and university attended. No significant relationships existed among the four demographic variables based on the level of CRT. However, Daunic et al. found that enrollment in the special education or general education program may have contributed to differences. For instance, special education majors were significantly more aware of students' backgrounds than general education majors, and general education majors were more proficient in encouraging students to think critically. These researchers recommended that multicultural education objectives should be addressed explicitly at the course, fieldwork, and programmatic levels (e.g., ongoing examination of course syllabi conrenr and program goals). They also recommended the addition of qualitative methods to provide direction in designing performance-based criteria with cultural considerations and to explore how CRT is implemented across a variety of settings within teaching and learning contexts (e.g., courses and fieldwork).

In addition to the topics/themes identified earlier, 57% (n = 4) of the studies used Banks's (2006) social action/decision-making level as a theoretical framework to guide course content and research.



There are limitations that must be considered when interpreting results or replicating this literature review. Because we wanted to confine our review to studies that took place in TEPs as opposed to alternative settings such as professional development programs in schools, we did not review studies that focused on multicultural education for inservice teachers. Also, in reviewing articles from both general education and special education, we limited the search criteria due to space constraints. Still, our findings point to interpretations, implications, and recommendations that may provide substantive explanations for the lack of progress in this area and help create and sustain practices and research that address multicultural issues in both general education and special education on a widet scale. Following, we present these interpretations, implications, and recommendations.


Our results revealed that many of the recommendations for future practice and research in recent reviews are very similar to those that have been promulgated by supporters of multicultural education for decades. These include but are not limited to (a) more emphasis on this issue at the programmatic level; (b) increased coursework; (c) longitudinal study of programs with stand alone courses, infusion, and integration of the two; (d) increased usage of theoretical frameworks to address issues related to privilege, oppression, and social justice versus a primary focus on student characteristics and single group studies (e.g., critical theory, critical race theory); and (e) more research to determine effects of TEPs on the performance of CLD learners in P-12 schools. We agree strongly with our colleagues that these recommendations ate warranted. Implementation, however, has been slow to occur and be sustained due to educators' tendency to address problems linearly and singly without accounting for the social context of activity when humans are responding to practical yet complex challenges (Artiles, Trent, Hoffman-Kipp, & Lopez-Torres, 2000; Arzubiago, Artiles, King, & Hatris-Murri, 2008; Engestrom, 1999; Roth & Lee, 2007).

Over the past 20 years, cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) has gained prominence in the United States as a tool that can be used to address cultural-historical issues that are rarely explored when studying collective work from a linear or rational perspective. Though a late arrival in the United States, this theory was first introduced as an outgrowth of Lev Vygotsky's (1962) social constructivist theory by two of his proteges, Luria (1981) and Leont'ev (1978). Unlike traditional linear and monochromic models, activity theorists putport that, within human cognition and activity, there is no beginning, middle or end, "but an evolving, complex structute of mediated and collective human agency" (Roth & Lee, 2007, p. 198). In this vein, the accumulated history of the interplay between individuals and the collective is documented in an effort to pinpoint patterns that occur within social settings ovei time that might constrict or expand and transform the activity setting (Roth & Lee). For example, although helping teacher candidates meet the needs of CLD learners more effectively may be a stated goal of a TEP, examination of prior dispositions, initiatives, and activities may reveal that accomplishing this goal might be left to chance if there is not a strong level of commitment among a critical mass of the faculty. Even though individual faculty members may infuse multicultural content, this content will quite likely disappear with faculty attrition. Hence, instead of using a single faculty member or course as the unit of analysis in practice and research, the entire TEP becomes the unit of analysis. From this standpoint and in keeping with Banks's "transformation level" (Banks & McGee Banks, 2006), the activity setting is continually monitored and assessed in a manner that does not attempt to control for context, but seeks to understand it in ways that will transform practice within the TEP.

Another very important tenet of CHAT is that inter- and intra- individual tensions, conflicts, and contradictions will occur within the activity-setting and that these internalizations must be made transparent in ways that promote authentic participation and minimize the sustainment of hierarchies of power that can develop within an activity setting over time. For example, if the majority of TEP faculty use deficit theory to explain school failure among CLD learners, those faculty who provide alternative explanations for school failure may have little influence on the thinking of TEP students (Artiles et al., 2000). Also, within a CHAT framework, all aspects of an activity setting are interconnected and must be analyzed as such. For instance, the recommendations identified previously might become targeted outcomes for a TEP (the subject of the activity setting) attempting to address multicultural education comprehensively and programmatically (the object or motive of the subject). Accomplishment of outcomes is determined based on the TEP s use of mediating tools that lead to objectdirected activities (e.g., discourse, planning, assignments, assessment of textbooks and inclusion of multicultural content, technology, and research instruments). Accomplishment of outcomes is also influenced by identification of internal and external forces that might constrain or contribute to transformed activities within the TEP (e.g., interest or lack of interest, state department licensure requirements, and incompatibility between policies, accreditation standards, and the research priorities of funding agencies). Further, the degree to which faculty members are able to make transparent and address the role of power and status within the TEP influences the accomplishment of stated outcomes. We provide an example of this interconnectedness in the following section.

Our review revealed that, even though research on diversity has continued, there has not been a significant increase in the quantity of research conducted in either general education or special education. This finding is especially significant for preservice special education programs, where we identified only seven studies. Several authors cited in this review have concluded that this circumstance might be due in part to the continued marginalization of multicultural education in schools and colleges of education, and the lack of interest in the education of CLD learners (Grant et al., 2004; Sheets, 2003). We speculate that one reason for this sustained marginalization is cultural-historical factors that are rarely addressed when discussions about multicultural education in TEPs take place.

For instance, researchers included in this review and others in the field suggest that, despite good intentions, efforts to incorporate multiculturalism in TEPs are sometimes constrained by limited experiences and apprehension on the part of faculty (Asher, 2007; case & Hemmings, 2005; Phuong, 2000; Sheets, 2003). Phuong interviewed professors in a college of education at a predominately White midwestern university where multicultural education was considered a very prominent component of the TEP. Her results revealed that although professors believed they were doing their best to address multicultural issues, many also believed that their own limited experience with people from CLD backgrounds hampered their ability to address the adverse effects of prolonged marginalization and discrimination on the educational achievement of CLD students. As a result, professors feared that they were perpetuating the very stereotypes they sought to unveil and interrogate with their TEP students and that they were unable to address multiculturalism beyond a superficial level. They were also concerned that there were few professors from CLD backgrounds who could present multicultural content from the petspective of the historically underserved and disenfranchised. Although rational and logical, this recommendation is shortsighted because it does not consider that many tenure-track professors from CLD backgrounds are hesitant to incorporate multicultural content into their courses because of student resistance and the possible effects of poor course evaluations on their tenure pursuits (Asher, 2007; Laubscher & Powell, 2003, Stanley, 2007).

It appears, then, that more research is needed to identify, at the programmatic level, the policies, procedures, and activities that have continued to contribute to the expansion or constriction of multicultural content within TEPs. Possible research topics include (a) a comparison of stated and enacted course and program outcomes related to diversity in TEPs (Zeichner & Hoeft, 1996); (b) the identification of reasons for any disparity between stated and enacted goals and activities; (c) the change process in TEPs when internal and external entities dictate reform (e.g., faculty position allocations, compatibility of NCLB and IDEA 2004 mandates with state departments' licensure requirements and national accreditation standards); (d) the identification of interest levels and competencies among faculty and administrators; (e) the extent to which faculty who address multicultural education in their courses are valued and rewarded; and (f) the determination of how and to what extent graduate students interested in this topic are mentored (Campbell-Whatley, 2003). Initially, activities and subsequent outcomes may appear to be random occurrences. However (and consistent with CHAT problem-solving models), research that addresses these factors programmatically may reveal that occurrences are not random but behavioral patterns that either promote or preclude the establishment and sustainment of multicultural content in TEPs. This research might also lead to more effective problem solving in TEPs genuinely committed to addressing multicultural teacher education in a comprehensive manner (Kea, Campbell-Whatley, & Richards, 2004).


Whereas general education studies were published in a variety of journals, special education studies were published in only five journals. In an effort to determine the reason for this outcome, we must once again examine current circumstances from a cultural- historical perspective. From both a practical and research perspective, ongoing monitoring of these factors must become routine among investigators, editors, and editorial boards of journals who publish special education research. In so doing, they must seek answers to many questions, including: How many studies on preparing teachers for diversity are conducted in TEPs, especially programs for special education preservice teachers? To what extent are these studies submitted to educational journals? How many of these manuscripts are eventually published? Do the problems within TEPs identified previously contribure to rhe scarcity of this research in refereed special education journals? Is there bias in the editorial process (Scheurich & Young, 1997; Stanfield, 1993; Stanley, 2007)? What is meant by the term "sound research" and how do changes in funding crireria and priorities at the private, state, and federal levels (e.g., extent to which qualitative research is valued) influence the number of studies conducted and the number of articles published on this topic in peer-reviewed educational journals (Pugach, 2001)? As indicated in the previous section, investigations of this nature that address the complexities involved in this work (e.g., the relationship between the characteristics and goals of TEPs and the extent to which articles about multiculturalism are published in educational journals) will help teacher educators and researchers make more informed decisions about the support needed to conduct research on multiculturalism in TEPs. METHODOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RESEARCH

Our results show that characteristics of the research on preparing teachets for diversity have not changed significantly in general education or special education since 1998. For example, proportionally, general education researchers used more qualitative and mixed designs compared to special education researchers. However, we found no significant differences in methods used in the current special education studies and those reviewed by Webb- Johnson et al. (1998). In both instances, questionnaires and surveys remained the primary instruments used to collect data. In addition, reliability and validity of instruments were rarely reported and descriptions of qualitative methods were sometimes cursory. Also, small sample sizes and sampling procedures continue to make it difficult to generalize findings to the population of preservice teachers and TEPs that incorporate multicultural content at some level. As has been recommended in the past, these methodological weaknesses must be addressed to increase the rigor and usefulness of this research.


Similar to research conducted in the past, the participants in these studies were mostly heterogeneous in terms of race and gender; the overwhelming majority of participants were White, middle class, and female, and few studies addressed the needs of CLD preservice teachers. For example, Cochran-Smith et al., (2004) and Grant et al., (2004) found a small number of studies that addressed the difficulties CLD preservice teachers experienced in predominately White TEPs; we found only one in our review (Knight, 2004). Another study in our review revealed that African American preservice teachers at a historically Black college/university (HBCU) felt prepared to teach African American and White students effectively, but did not feel prepared to teach other CLD students outside of their race (Kea et al., 2002).

A longstanding recommendation by many teacher educators has been to recruit, retain, and graduate more CLD preservice teachers. This is important to considet because researchers have documented that a lack of CLD teachers increases the likelihood of lowered and biased expectations for CLD learners (Blanchett, Mumford, & Beachum, 2005; LeCompte & McCray, 2002). We agree with this recommendation, but also contend that recruitment efforts should not be initiated unless TEP faculty are willing to engage in ongoing monitoring of student recruitment, retention, and satisfaction, and how cultural- historical factors influence graduation and retention rates in the teaching profession. Davidson and Foster-Johnson (2001) identified factors that make it difficult for CLD doctoral students in education programs at predominately White universities to be successful. These include (a) a focus on assimilation of CLD students rather than cultural pluralism; (b) graduate schools seldom address diversity issues, such as awareness of culture, race, and ethnicity in formal course work; (c) mentors assume similarities and ignore differences between their own workplace experiences and those of their CLD proteges; and (d) traditional mentoring programs do not acknowledge the cultural differences of these students and the impact that these differences may have on performance. We believe that many of these factors may also hold ttue for CLD preservice teachers. Possible research questions emanating from these findings include: Are multicultural issues addressed in formal coursework? If so, are they addressed from the perspective of CLD students enrolled in the program? Are cultural differences considered and is the impact that these differences may have on the performance of CLD teacher candidates considered?

From a cultural-historical perspective, teacher educators and researchers who implement programs and conduct studies can also be considered participants. However, in this and previous reviews, the characteristics and backgrounds of researchers were rarely provided (e.g., information about race was provided in only a few cases). Although race is not the only proxy for culture, it (along with other background information) would provide very important information about perspectives that influence the choice and appropriateness of program content and research methods. For instance, when implementing programs and conducting research on multicultural teacher education, reflections by teacher educators and researchers might address cultural-historical issues, such as: Are rhe ethics and beliefs of the teacher educators or researchers compatible with the ethics and beliefs of the participants being studied (e.g., preservice teachers or CLD students, their families, and their communities)? How might incompatibilities influence outcomes? Do content, assignments, evaluative tools, and research methods emanate from overgeneralized stereotypes or predominately deficit-based theoretical frameworks? To what extent are epistemological and paradigmatic differences considered among teacher educators and researchers engaged in program design and cross-cultural research (Stanfield, 1993)? Even if journals cannot provide space for reflection, sustained discourse, explicit multicultural objectives, and ongoing monitoring of these factors may heighten awareness about the influence of culture on individual and collective efforts and, consequently, influence the quality of practice and research in this area (see Arzubiago et al., 2008).


The general education studies fell within the topic/themes of (a) attitudes and beliefs, (b) curriculum and instruction, and (c) effects of the program on candidates. In addition, we found two articles that focused on the effects of the program on instructors. In comparison, topics and themes addressed in the special education studies fell under the categories of attitudes/beliefs about several issues and effects on teacher candidates. We argue that, in practice, all of these topics/themes should be components of TEPs and organized at the programmatic level in ways that promote integration and synthesis of a broad knowledge and skill base. Within such an integrated framework, teacher educators and researchers should continue to address issues of privilege, equity, and access through the use of critical theory, critical race theory, social justice, and other theories that provide alternative explanations for the continued failure of CLD students (Berry, in press). At the same time, the scarcity of research on the pedagogical behaviors of reachers in culturally diverse schools uncovers the need for more research in this area. Possible research questions include: How can multiple instructional and assessment approaches be integrated to meet the needs of CLD learners more effectively (e.g., direct instruction embedded within a constructivist framework)? Does the use of multicultural approaches during instruction improve social and academic outcomes for CLD learners? Do integrated instructional models, coupled with multicultural approaches, bolster the performance of CLD students (e.g., direct instruction embedded within a constructivist framework that also incorporates the social action approach; Trent, 2003)? How do preservice teachers' developing pedagogical knowledge and skills affect academic outcomes for CLD learners (Sheets, 2003)?

Concurrent with these studies must be an increase in research documenting the developmental processes of teacher educatots and how transformations in their teaching over time influence course construction, field experiences, and the knowledge and skills gained by preservice teachers (Trent & Dixon, 2004). Finally, only a few studies in this review addressed issues of resistance among White preservice teachers when they are enrolled in courses that address issues of equity, privilege, and oppression. Continued studies in this area are needed and must seek answers to questions such as: What types of multicultural content evoke resistance and negative reactions among White preservice teachers (e.g., contributions approach vs. critical race theory)? How does the race, gender, or culture of teacher educators affect their teacher candidates' willingness to engage in more open and honest discourse about diversity and equity issues? How does the infusion of multicultural education impact the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and instruction delivered by teacher candidates in classrooms serving CLD students with and without disabilities? More funding and supported efforts to develop a critical mass of diverse researchers who can collaborate to answer these questions are required if stated goals for CLD learners are to be realized.


In this literature review, we identified the current state of affairs regarding research on preparing both general education and special education preservice teachers for diversity. Of special significance to us is the fact that a huge gap remains between the quantity of studies published in both fields, with the larger number of studies being published by general education researchers. From a qualitative perspective, special education researchers who used a theoretical framework typically chose Banks's social action/ decisionmaking level (Banks & McGee Banks, 2006), whereas general educators used other frameworks, such as critical race theory, to structure their courses and research. Also, the researchers in special education have continued to use mostly surveys and questionnaires to collect their data. Additionally, only a limited number of special education researchers, who are isolated from one another, have published on this topic. As history demonstrates, what goes unacknowledged ultimately becomes invisible. We believe that only a nonlinear approach such as CHAT-which brings to the forefront questions that are rarely asked, acknowledged, and answered within TEPs-will finally allow teacher educators, researchers, policy makers, journal editots, and funding agencies to address rhe aforementioned problems more effectively and comprehensively, and ultimately result in significantly improved outcomes fot CLD learners with and without disabilities, writ large.

Performance-based assessments can help TEPs replace vague program objectives with more measurable ones and facilitate more effective program evaluation.

Despite good intentions, efforts to incorporate multiculturalism in TEPs are sometimes constrained by limited experiences and apprehension on the part of faculty.

Teacher educators and researchers should continue to address issues of privilege, equity and access through the use of critical theory, critical race theory, social justice, and other theories that provide alternative expfanations for the continued failure of CLD students.


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