A View Beyond Tolerance: Teacher Candidate Experiences with Culturally Responsive Education

By Nancy A. Chicola.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teacher Candidates at Buffalo State College are often white middle class females who have few experiences with diverse populations. In an effort to facilitate learning of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will help them go beyond teaching tolerance to becoming exemplary teachers in the diverse classrooms they will encounter as they enter the profession, the focus on cultural responsive teaching and multicultural education within the elementary social studies methods course has been expanded to include a rigorous reflective writing assignment. The CREED paper, electronic discussions, as well as class presentations address culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) and multicultural education. This study was conducted to determine the perceived effectiveness of the new assignment and related class presentations and discussions in preparing teacher candidates for the actuality of teaching in diverse classrooms. Fifty teacher candidates engaged in a semester of study and reflection that culminated with the CREED writing assignment. Focus group discussions and perception surveys were implemented at the conclusion of each semester to determine perceptions of competency and needed course revisions related to CRP. The results revealed a discomfort among the participants when reflecting on their own biases, but a strong commitment to making the necessary changes in order to teach in a culturally responsive manner. Additionally, the teacher candidates acknowledged a need for more information and strategies as well as experiences in schools with diverse populations of students to become culturally responsive teachers who will be able to embrace diversity in their own future classrooms.

Keywords: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Diversity, Teaching Tolerance

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.211-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.391KB).

Dr. Nancy A. Chicola

Associate Professor, Department of Elementary Education and Reading,, School of Education, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

Dr. Chicola has made use of her educational and professional background to present workshops and papers at national and international conferences, write articles for professional journals, and co-author two books for practitioners dealing with children’s literature and social studies. Discovering World Geography with Books Kids Love and Creating Caring Communities with Books Kids Love both focus on K -- 6 social studies standards and children’s literature. Other publications include articles that feature children’s literature as well as the arts as means to deliver social studies content in elementary classrooms. Additional areas of research include curriculum and strategies for program delivery in teacher education and urban and rural education issues.


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