Due to poor school performance among significant numbers of minority students in U.S. schools, many parents, educators, and policymakers now look to teacher education programs (TEPs) to prepare preservice teachers more effectively for student diversity. Unfortunately, although multicultural TEPs and courses have been in existence for quite some time, we know very little about the nature of teacher learning and development and the conditions that promote teacher learning for student diversity in both preservice courses and field experiences. Moreover, we know little about what program components improve learning experiences for culturally and linguistically diverse students. In this article, we propose a reconceptualization of multicultural teacher education. For this purpose, we summarize basic principles of cultural-historical theory that must be considered by teacher educators who prepare preservice teachers for student diversity. We also discuss how cultural-historical theory can inform research designs as teacher educators attempt to assess preservice teacher learning. Through preliminary analysis of a study conducted in a preservice teacher education course, we provide examples of how constructs from cultural-historical theory are being used to assess teacher learning about teaching and learning in multicultural contexts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health