Addressing diversity in US Teacher Preparation Programs: A Survey of Elementary and Secondary Programs’ Priorities and Challenges from Across the United States of America

Nov. 16, 2007

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 23, Issue 8, November 2007, P. 1258-1271 

Data gathered from 142 public university elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs across the United States (representing the preparation of approximately 23,000–30,000 new teachers annually), indicated that race/ethnicity was the most emphasized diversity topic followed by special needs, language diversity, economic (social class), gender, and sexual orientation.

The majority of programs addressed diversity topics across program classes. States were similar in the priority assigned to various diversity topics, with the exception of California, which placed greater emphasis upon language diversity but less upon special needs as compared to other states. In addition, there appeared to be little to no relationship between the faculty demographics (gender and race) and the priorities placed upon gender and racial diversity in programs. The project also surveyed program coordinators’ assessments of the various challenges to the inclusion of diversity topics.

Finally, the data suggested that possible relationships might exist between faculty attitudes/knowledge regarding diversity topics and student attitudes.

Updated: May. 12, 2008