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As the P-12 student landscape continues to grow in cultural and linguistic diversity, teacher preparation programs have yet to adequately prepare teacher candidates’ teaching and learning skills in meeting the academic and socio-emotional needs of diverse student demographics. Thus, school districts are in need of culturally competent new teachers who have the content knowledge and pedagogy to teach culturally and linguistically diverse children. Recognizing this need, this qualitative analysis examines the teacher candidates’ cultural and intercultural competence as developing culturally and linguistically responsive new teachers. Considering the disparaging academic achievement of many U.S. public school students, culturally responsive teaching may assist in closing enduring achievement gaps. To this end, this study’s findings highlighted the importance of and a need for cultural competence among teacher candidates. Findings from this study provides a means by which universities can implement cross-cultural coursework and field-based experiences to prepare culturally responsive teacher candidates.
Keywords: teacher preparation, cultural competence, culturally responsive pedagogy
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