Throughout the article "Development of Knowledge, and Commitments to Teach Diverse Student Populations", by Robert A. Wiggins and Eric J. Follo, researchers are reporting the results of a study on investigating the preparation and commitment of preservice teachers to teach in culturally diverse settings. Student populations have become increasingly more diverse while the teaching force remains essentially the same. For this reason, the study was done. The main topic of this article is the study performed, yet a large percentage of it also deals with "how" should we influence the attitudes of teachers set in a culturally diverse setting to teach in a culturally appropriate way? The authors also came to realization that "not feeling at home in another culture may be the biggest obstacle to successful teaching in culturally diverse classrooms".
In assessing the teacher preparation program, the conductors of the experiment asked three questions:
· Which aspect of the elementary education program has the most impact on students' preparation to teach classrooms with diverse student populations?
· Why were some aspects of the program more or less effective than others?
· What could be done to strengthen the program to better prepare students to teach in diverse classrooms?
In order to find the answers to these three questions, the experimenters used questionnaires and interviews. Students responded to thirty-four statements in the questionnaires that dealt with three broad categories: factors fostering readiness for teaching in culturally diverse settings, factors constraining readiness for teaching in culturally diverse settings, and prior experiences relative to multicultural education. The participants were asked to answer the questions on a 1-5 scale with 1 indicating strong disagreement and 5 meaning strong agreement. Through this process, they sought to determine whether or not students wanted to teach culturally diverse ... Continue Reading