Do education majors coming from public vs. private high schools or home-schooled students have a difference in multicultural awareness when they graduate from Corban?
Corban Associate Professor of Education Sang-Eun Dyer, Ph.D., said no, and her surveys and research of Corban education majors backs this up. Between Nov. 6 and 10, she will have the opportunity to share this research with teachers and administrators from across the country during the National Association for Multicultural Education conference in Oakland, Calif.
She submitted a proposal for her research project in May, and in September she was asked to present her findings. Her proposal, “Christian Teachers in Melting Pot Classrooms: Pre-service Teachers’ Multicultural Attitudes,” was based on the Teacher’s Multicultural Awareness Survey, which was given to all Corban education majors twice. The surveys were conducted during the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters.
“The results between students with public high school and non-public high school background was similar,” Dyer said. “They showed that students’ high school backgrounds were not a factor. More public school field experiences and multicultural education in the classroom were major factors.
“The senior group’s sensitivity and awareness of multicultural issues was higher than any other groups,” she added. “In particular, the senior group was significantly higher than that of the freshmen. They had grown into culturally more competent pre-service teachers over the years.”
As public schools nationwide continue to see greater student diversity in the classrooms, she said that Corban education students are receiving additional opportunities to teach in diverse settings which strengthens their abilities to be culturally competent teachers. Dyer said her research project will give her an opportunity to connect with many of those who hire teachers and show how continuous public classroom experiences and multicultural education are more important issues to consider when seeking teachers.
“My hope is that people will come to my presentation and see Christian pre-service teachers are well educated in multicultural settings,” she said. “They are ready to teach and deal with multicultural issues and will be valuable teachers in the classroom.”