Beyond Awareness : Preparing Culturally Responsive

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Beyond Awareness: Preparing Culturally Responsive Preservice Teachers Historically, many teachers took courses in multicultural education that was aimed at teaching preservice teachers about diversity in the classroom. However these courses did not have an impact on the teaching practices of pre-service teachers as they entered schools and classrooms. Furthermore teachers were asked to reconsider their own assumptions and work towards a better understanding of values and practices of cultures different than their own. It was through this type of reflective activity of their own beliefs compared to others could they begin to construct practices that aimed at making diversity apart of the curriculum. One goal of multicultural education was to shed light on oppression and social inequality based on race, social class, gender and disability. The multicultural coursework lead to “one of three” conditions in the preservice teachers’ classroom. The first being that the lesson plan, theme or curriculum was centered on the dominant culture. The second condition is that the curriculum pretends to be “color-blind” (87) basically stating that there is no difference between teacher and student in regards to race or culture. The final conditional was that the classroom/curriculum treated multiculturalism like “tourism”(87) only portraying the “superficial aspects of culture (87). These approaches would be unacceptable in today’s society and we clearly have a lot left to learn about
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