The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

"I Would Quit My Job:" Unpacking Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Culture and Diversity

Diana D. Murdock, Erin Hamel


With the changing demographics of classrooms across the United States, preservice teachers must be prepared to provide a just and equitable education for all students (Edwards, McMillon, & Turner, 2010; Villegas, 2007).  In order to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student population, teacher education programs are responsible for providing support to preservice teachers so, as educators, they honor “the differences among cultures, viewing diversity as a benefit, interacting knowledgeably and respectfully among a variety of cultural groups” (Lindsey, Roberts, & Campbell-Jones, 2005, p. xviii). Recognizing the impact of respectful and reciprocal relationships between families and schools, we challenged preservice teachers to reflect upon beliefs, perceptions and biases they held about diverse cultures.  Data collected through the resulting study have implications for how colleges of education can ensure that candidates have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to effectively work with all children and families.


Preservice Teacher Education for Diverse Classrooms; Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

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