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Multicultural Matters: An Investigation of Key Assumptions of Multicultural Education Reform in Teacher Education.

Introduction and Background

For more than five decades, policy and reform in teacher education have underscored the importance of preparing new teachers for increasingly diverse schools. As a reform movement and paradigm (1) focused on structural equality, access, and cultural pluralism, multicultural education imparts an agenda for teacher education to ensure that all candidates are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work effectively with students and communities whose cultural perspectives and lived experiences differ from their own (McAllister & Irvine, 2000). Despite considerable variation in the philosophical underpinnings and pedagogical approaches associated with multicultural teacher education (Grant & Sleeter, 2006), research, policy, and practice are framed consistently by two assumptions that warrant closer investigation.

First is the notion that preservice teachers, as learners, routinely lack the cultural knowledge and intercultural awareness to provide responsive instruction to diverse student populations (2) (Cochran-Smith, 2004; Evans-Winters & Twyman Hoff, 2011). Although consistent with what some have characterized as a prevailing deficit view of preservice teachers as a homogeneous and culturally deficient group (Garrett & Segall, 2013; Lowenstein, 2009), discernable variation in candidates' backgrounds, social identities, and experiences suggests that it is exceedingly unlikely that levels of multicultural awareness--conceived in terms of individuals' consciousness of, sensitivity toward, and appreciation for cultural pluralism in education--are uniform in the population. Framed as a precursor to, and integral component of multicultural competence, multicultural awareness--both of one's own worldview and the worldviews of others--establishes a foundation for practitioners' developing pedagogical skills and professional knowledge, as they relate to work with diverse populations (Hall & Theriot, 2016; Nieto & Bode, 2008). Yet, studies attempting to link specific teacher characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, level of education, or prior experience, with differences in cultural awareness and intercultural sensitivity, are largely absent from the literature.

A second underlying assumption of multicultural teacher education reform reasons that higher levels of multicultural awareness are associated with better teaching, insofar as teachers' knowledge and appreciation of cultural differences may promote positive relationships with students and communities, and guide efforts to foster positive classroom climate (Day-Vines, 2000; Han & Thomas, 2010; Pedro, Miller, & Bray, 2012; Pederson, 2000). Operating on this assumption, researchers and practitioners alike have sought to operationalize, assess, and expand preservice candidates' multicultural awareness, as evidenced by numerous studies focused on measurement of preservice teachers' cultural understandings (Barry & Lechner, 1995; Larke, 1990; Milner, Flowers, Moore, Moore, & Flowers, 2003; Neville et al., 1996). Unfortunately, empirical support for this link remains thin, as few studies have examined how and to what extent preservice teachers' multicultural beliefs are related to measurable teaching competencies.

In this article, using a novel dataset encompassing approximately 2,500 preservice teachers enrolled in a large teacher training program, we address these two gaps in the knowledge base on teacher education for diversity. We ask, first, do levels of multicultural awareness vary by preservice teacher characteristics such as race/ethnicity, education, and prior experience? Second, does multicultural awareness shape preservice teachers' pedagogical competencies?

The Policy Push for Multicultural Education

The landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court thrust issues of equity to the forefront of national and state education reform agendas, resulting in policies and standards that--at least rhetorically--advanced dual aims of multicultural integration and expanding equal opportunity for all students (Carter, 2003; McNeal, 2009). The Supreme Court's decision had a swift and considerable impact on policy and practice in K-12 education, in contrast to teacher education--where accountability was structured primarily through requirements for state licensure and the voluntary participation of institutions in accreditation processes (Williams & Scott, 2003).

Efforts to prepare new teachers for multicultural populations gained traction in the late 1960s, ushering in a period of increased support for the integration of multicultural content into teacher education curricula (Goodwin, 1997; Grant & Gibson, 2011). Statements issued by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and its subsidiary task force, the Commission on Multicultural Education, helped to shift programmatic attention toward diversity and articulating the role of multicultural training in teacher education. The Commission's (AACTE, Commission on Multicultural Education, 1973) "No One Model American" stated.
   Multicultural education programs for teachers are more than
   special courses or special learning experiences grafted onto the
   standard program. The commitment to cultural pluralism must
   permeate all areas of the educational experience provided for
   prospective teachers, (p. 264)

Despite this endorsement, nearly a decade passed before measurable action was taken to ensure the incorporation of multicultural content into teacher education programs. In 1979, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), upon request by the National Institute of Education and AACTE, issued revised standards that required evidence of the integration of multicultural education from all programs seeking accreditation. These standards led to the broader adoption of multicultural coursework and diversity requirements by teacher education program units across the country (Carter, 2003; Gollnick, 1992; Grant & Gibson, 2011). However, as Gay (1997) notes, "Even for those institutions that [met] the standards, it is difficult to determine whether the assessment [was] indicative of what actually happen[ed] in the programs" (p. 152). Today, with more than two thirds of new teachers graduating from NCATE-accredited institutions nationwide (Quinn & Meiners, 2011), evidence of program practices and outcomes remains elusive.

What can be gleaned in terms of particular efforts to incorporate diversity is limited to programs' self-evaluations. Despite a surge in scholarly attention focused on diversity in teacher education around that time, reviews of the literature reveal that the bulk was theoretical or positional in nature, reflecting the interests and recommendations of multicultural scholars and several well-known education reformers. For instance, Grant and Sleeter's (1985) review of nearly 200 articles published in the wake of NCATE's standards release found only 19 that reported original research, of which seven were focused on preservice teacher education. While evidence from empirical research is largely absent in the literature, Goodwin (1997) and others claim that structural changes were being instituted by many teacher education programs as part of efforts to incorporate diversity into pre-service preparation (Ramsey, Williams, & Void, 2003). According to Gollnick (1995), however, accreditation-seeking institutions frequently referenced program units' mission statements and instructional objectives as evidence of their commitment to diversity but failed to demonstrate a substantive focus on diversity across courses and field components. Although most institutions reported that multicultural content was meaningfully integrated across the curriculum, ostensibly through coursework, claims were rarely validated. Of the 440 programs whose surveys were returned to the AACTE, only one substantiated the claim via examination of course syllabi (Gollnick, 1995).

Program-level data collected between 1998 and 1993 by NCATE echo these findings. According to self-reported data, 80% of accredited programs attested to the inclusion of multicultural education in the teacher education coursework, and 75% cited its integration in candidates' field experiences (Cochran-Smith, 2004b; Gollnick, 1995). At the same time, NCATE's accreditation review board cited nearly 25% of those institutions for failure to provide candidates with adequate or systematic experiences with diverse populations. Just less than 15% of institutions received citations for a lack of attention to cultural diversity and multicultural perspectives by way of program curriculum. Though dated, these reports in many ways reflect the state of knowledge on implementation of multicultural education policies in teacher preparation.

Given evidence of uneven multicultural integration in and across programs, scholars have suggested--perhaps cynically--that candidates' learning opportunities are as varied and incongruent as individual instructors' personal orientations to diversity (Cochran-Smith, 2004). Some have speculated that the failure of programs to more meaningfully incorporate diversity and multiculturalism resulted, in part, from assumptions on the part of teacher educators that pre-service candidates would "pick up the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes that [would] help them teach classes of socioculturally diverse students without any direct instruction and planned experiences" (Contreras, 1987, p. 187). Contreras (1987) found that some teacher educators wrongly assumed that candidates would enter culturally homogeneous schools, similar to those they themselves had attended, and therefore devoted less effort to preparing candidates for diverse learners. Whatever the case, these studies suggest that despite the impetus of professional standards and the rhetoric of institutional objectives, issues of diversity and multiculturalism have, for many years, been inconsistently addressed in preservice teacher education. Few, if any, empirical efforts have sought to validate or extend these findings in recent years, though changes in the accreditation landscape (most notably, the 2013 consolidation of the two largest accrediting agencies--NCATE and TEAC--into the singular Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP) are likely to invigorate renewed interest in research on programmatic efforts.

The current climate of accountability would suggest a not-too-distant future in which the reach of federal policy extends to educator preparation in a manner not unlike that framing public K-12 education. For now, oversight for the quality of teacher education remains in the hands of accrediting bodies, like CAEP, and licensure commissions within each state. References to demographic and cultural diversity appear--almost ubiquitously--in the standards issued by state and accrediting agencies, which require educator preparation programs to provide evidence of content linked to multicultural education in curriculum and instruction. The eponymous "multicultural education course" required in many programs is evidence of a common means of compliance, one that scholars have consistently criticized as insufficient in promoting multicultural competence in new teachers (Villegas & Lucas, 2002). Despite the decade-long push for the integration of multicultural issues into teacher education, studies continue to show that new teachers feel underprepared to work with students who are different from themselves (Sleeter & Owuor, 2011). Such findings signal a need to revisit existing policies and practices with an eye toward improving the ways multicultural teacher education is enacted.

The Demographic Divide Between Teachers and Students

The urgency behind calls for reform in teacher education for diversity corresponds with persistent--and growing--disparities in educational opportunity and achievement of students from differing cultural groups. This, compounded by observable discrepancies in the racial and ethnic backgrounds of teachers and the communities they serve, leads many to argue that the solution lies in preparing teachers to demonstrate cultural responsiveness in all facets of instruction. The oft-referenced "demographic divide" between predominantly White, monolingual, and middle-class teachers and diverse K-12 student populations remains a serious challenge for teacher education (Gay & Howard, 2000). Students from racial and ethnic minority groups now comprise the proportional majority in America's public schools (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, & Common Core of Data, 2014). By comparison, the P-12 teaching force remains predominantly White. According to data from the national 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey, 82% of public school and 88% of private school teachers identify as non-Hispanic White (Aud et al., 2013). Enrollment in preservice teacher education programs across the country suggests that disparities in the demographic composition of classroom teachers and the students they teach are likely to persist throughout the foreseeable future (AACTE, 2013). That teachers' success will be determined by their abilities to work effectively across racial, ethnic, and cultural difference is increasingly apparent, underscoring the imperative to develop multicultural competencies in new teachers.

Within the field of teacher education, multicultural training is often credited as essential to ameliorating an array of negative effects stemming from the "cultural mismatch" between teachers and students. Proponents suggest that by reducing social distance and promoting sensitivity in teachers' interactions with students, increased multicultural awareness may contribute to more positive outcomes for students of color (Cochran-Smith, 2001; Zeichner, 1993). Teachers who occupy "different existential worlds" than the students they serve, whether due to dissimilarities in cultural frames of reference or racial identities, are more likely to struggle in their roles as advocates, role models, and cultural brokers (Goodwin, 2000; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). Similarly, scholars argue that a lack of intercultural knowledge detracts from teachers' abilities to form positive relationships with their students, and to implement culturally relevant curriculum and instruction in response to the varied cultural backgrounds of their students (Irvine & Armento, 2001).

Although the majority of concerns focuses on the perceived deficits of White preservice candidates with regard to cultural knowledge and experience, a number of authors have stressed the importance of preparing all educators-regardless of background--to enact culturally relevant pedagogies (Gay, 2010a; Lowenstein, 2009; Milner, 2010). This line of thinking draws upon the work of Ladson-Billings (1994) and others to suggest that teachers of any racial and ethnic background can develop the knowledge and skills to be effective with diverse populations. Furthermore, these perspectives acknowledge variation in individuals' cultural frames of reference--in and across racialized categories--highlighting an important distinction between hegemonic institutional and political instantiations of Whiteness, and the developing racial identities of White teacher candidates (Gillborn, 2008). Research on teachers and learning to teach has consistently shown that the culturally based beliefs and tacit assumptions educators bring to the classroom shape their conceptions of student ability and their expectations for groups of learners (Jussim, Eccles, & Madon, 1996; Walker--Dalhouse, & Dalhouse, 2006). These factors, in turn, are suspected to influence the quality of teachers' relationships with students (Chang, 2002), their approaches to classroom management (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clark, &Curran, 2003), and quality of learning opportunities they afford pupils (Kamii, Otis-Wilborn, Pugach, & Reddit, 2002). It follows then that interest in assessing and developing prospective teachers' cultural beliefs permeates the literature on preparing teachers for diversity.

The Importance of Multicultural Awareness

In both theory and practice, multicultural education encompasses a range of political orientations and pedagogical instantiations (see Banks, 1993). Despite these differences, general consensus suggests that multicultural awareness is crucial to teachers' abilities to promote positive outcomes for all students. The term multicultural awareness refers to teachers' awareness of, comfort with, and sensitivity toward issues of cultural pluralism in the classroom (Akiba, 2011; Brown, 1998; Ponterotto, Baluch, Greig, & Rivera, 1998).

Frameworks for multicultural education and training depict intercultural awareness as an integral dimension of cultural competence, which encompasses the professional skills, affective dispositions, and behavioral characteristics practitioners need to be effective with diverse populations (McAllister & Irvine, 2000; Sue, 2001). Milner's (2006) research on preservice teachers' development points to experiences that promote cultural and racial awareness as one of three "essential and necessary interactions" to increase candidates' knowledge and understandings for diversity (p. 350). The notion that multicultural awareness may precede other forms of intercultural competence, such as perspective taking, acceptance of difference, and demonstration of antiracist behavior, aligns with process models of intercultural sensitivity and multicultural development (Bennett, 1993; Helms & Carter, 1990; Neville et al., 1996), which theorize positive relationships between individuals' understandings of and sensitivities toward diverse cultural perspectives and successful development of cultural competencies (McAllister & Irvine, 2000).

Interest in accounting for the multicultural attitudes and beliefs that prospective teachers bring to preservice training is also consistent with the argument that teacher education programs should capitalize on key "leverage points" in teacher training to identify and recruit candidates whose worldviews and cultural perspectives more closely mirror those of students (Ladson-Billings, 2005, p. 147). Scholars whose work advocates the screening of prospective educators via recruitment have suggested that individuals whose personal experiences and backgrounds are aligned with their students may be better positioned to understand and respond to the needs of students from nondominant communities (Haberman, 1995; Nieto, 2002; Pang & Gibson, 2001). Although efforts to recruit and prepare teachers of color comprise an essential part of the solution (Irvine, 2003), work by a number of scholars, including Ladson-Billings (2009), has shown that teachers of any racial and ethnic background can learn to be successful with diverse student populations. Furthermore, authors have criticized the flawed assumption that "being an older, urban person makes one qualified to be an urban teacher" (Ladson-Billings, 2011, p. 389). Given the current and projected demographic composition of those entering teaching, these findings prompt continued efforts to understand the development of multicultural competencies in all teacher candidates.

Together, theory and evidence underscore the need for research to examine how, and to what extent, multicultural awareness varies in preservice teachers as a step toward improving recruitment, assessment, and instructional design in teacher education for diversity.

Factors That Shape Multicultural Awareness

Despite long-standing support for multicultural teacher education in the rhetoric of reform, policy, and practice, a relatively thin body of research explores factors that contribute to candidates' multicultural beliefs. Two factors emerge as important in shaping multicultural awareness.

One factor widely understood to influence the formation of multicultural beliefs is race. Prior qualitative studies suggest that teachers of color provide a unique benefit to nondominant students by way of their cultural perspectives, discursive practices, and approaches to engaging with families and the school community (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Sleeter, 2004; Villegas, Strom, & Lucas, 2012). Findings from both qualitative and quantitative studies show that the cultural experiences and backgrounds of minority teaching candidates vary from those of White candidates in ways that may influence their initial orientations to diversity and their developmental trajectories with respect to multicultural education (Brand & Glasson, 2004; Hollins, 2011; Luo & Gilliard, 2006; Myles, Cheng, & Wang, 2006). For example, in her study of preservice teachers enrolled at a large public university in California, Su (1996) found that minority candidates, defined as being non-White, brought with them greater awareness to educational inequalities and stronger orientations to social justice than did their White peers. Candidates' perspectives were often based on their own experiences, which minority candidates more often discussed as having been shaped by contact with people from racial and ethnic backgrounds different than their own. In contrast, research consistently finds that White preservice teachers bring limited intercultural experience to their programs (Amos, 2011; Hollins, 2011; Larke, 1990). What remains unclear from these studies is whether multicultural attitudes and awareness differ by specific racial/ethnic groups, so as to go beyond the typical binary comparison of White versus non-White preservice teachers (Anderson & Stillman, 2013). Together, these findings suggest that preservice teachers' racial and ethnic backgrounds may correspond with meaningful differences in groups' multicultural awareness.

Another body of work focuses on how the racial identity of the preservice candidate shapes their interactions with students. One study of 88 preservice teachers that used regression and structural equation modeling analyses found that teachers' views of how race, including how their own racial identities might shape their interactions with students, were linked with teachers' overall understanding of diversity and multiculturalism (Silverman, 2010). Related research shows that inservice teachers' implicit attitudes and assumptions about race influence the quality and tone of feedback they provide students in instructional settings, as well as the forms of social support they extend to individuals (Harber et al., 2012).

By extension, a third body of research examines the effects of teachers' racial biases and attitudes on their students' learning experiences. Studies of racial prejudice indicate that even subtle biases can negatively influence interpersonal interactions and exacerbate intergroup hostilities (Chang, 2002), with harmful implications for the nature of teacher-student relationships. For example, an ethnographic study of one school serving primarily Latino middle school students found that some teachers, out of frustration when responding to administration demands for higher test scores, would rely on stereotypical notions to rationalize low achievement (Katz, 1999). Students perceived these beliefs as discrimination, and would in turn show little interest or investment in classroom learning. Prior work has revealed that students' racial/ethnic backgrounds may influence how they internalize teacher feedback; for example, one study found that the effects of teacher feedback appear to be greater for students of color than for their White counterparts (Coleman, Jussim, & Isaac, 1991), and another noted that Black students were more interested in pleasing their teachers than were their White counterparts (Casteel, 2000).

A second factor credited in shaping the multicultural beliefs of preservice teachers is prior experience with diversity. Constructivist perspectives of teacher development suggest that intercultural exposure and engagement with communities outside one's own can function as catalysts for critical self-reflection, through which individuals may learn to decenter their own racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives (Garmon, 2004; Pohan, 1996; Yost, Sentner, Forlenza-Bailey, 2000). Given unevenness in preservice candidates' cross-cultural experiences (Barry & Lechner, 1995; Su, 1996; Tinkler & Tinkler, 2013) and widely held conceptions of White preservice teachers as lacking in multicultural awareness, teacher education programs aiming to develop "culturally responsive teaching practices" routinely engage reflection as a pedagogical strategy to promote the reframing and unpacking of individuals' culturally embedded experiences and assumptions (Howard, 2003, p. 196). Milner's (2006) tripartite developmental model of preservice development likewise engages reflection as a means of furthering candidates' understandings of "their own experiences, life worlds, privileges, struggles, and positions in relation to others" (p. 351).

Clinical field placements in urban schools and community-based organizations represent two approaches commonly outlined in the literature (Burant & Kirby, 2002; Seidl and Friend (2002). A large proportion of these studies have sought to detect shifts in candidates' beliefs as a function of their experiences in teacher education programs (Deering & Stanutz, 1995; Pohan, 1996) with varying success. Overwhelmingly, this research finds that the thoughtful integration of coursework and clinical field experiences--specifically, those that immerse prospective teachers in diverse school communities--engenders the greatest probability of change in multicultural attitudes. For example, in one qualitative study of a teacher preparation class on multicultural sensitivity, respondents, both White and non-White, reported becoming more aware of the importance of understanding cultural difference and diversity after working with students who inhabited different social identities from them (Milner, 2005). Similarly, a number of qualitative studies have highlighted the importance of prior intercultural experiences (such as study abroad programs) in shaping candidates' orientations to diversity (McGaha & Linder, 2012). Therefore, it may be that minority candidates, who bring different levels of multicultural awareness relative to their White peers, also benefit differently from experience working with youth of color.

Other factors may also shape a candidate's multicultural awareness. Prior work argues that learning to teach is a complex sociocultural process, which is informed by individual social identities (Hollins, 2011; McIntyre, 1997). For example, we know that socialized gender norms may influence how teachers relate to their students (Cahill & Adams, 1997; Luttrell, 1993; Olsen, 2011), and their expectations with respect to student ability and performance in content areas, such as math (Li, 1999). Differences in international students' schooling experiences and levels of familiarity with American culture and systems of education may shape their understandings of racial and social hierarchies, as well as educational inequalities (Luo & Gilliard, 2006). Graduate students, who often return to universities after garnering work experience, may bring more varied life experiences than undergraduate students. Moreover, scholarship has found that racial stereotypes are often formed around specific subject matters: For example, Ladson-Billings (1997) has argued that stereotypes of math deficiencies are particularly dangerous for Black students.

Gaps in Literature and Research Questions

Policies that govern teacher education increasingly hold programs accountable for producing candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work effectively with diverse populations. The push to assess and develop new teachers' cultural competence has sparked increased interest in multicultural awareness and factors associated with it. Despite the purported significance of candidates' multicultural beliefs, there exist several gaps in the knowledge base undergirding reform initiatives to better prepare teachers for work with diverse populations. First, though evidence from qualitative research refers to variation in candidates' cultural beliefs, there is little comparative work that examines characteristics of teachers that are associated with multicultural awareness. Moreover, the few comparative studies of teacher multicultural awareness use samples of almost exclusively White respondents (likely due to issues with sample size). As a result, we know little of potential racial/ethnic variations, or whether relationships between multicultural awareness and factors such as prior experience matter more for preservice teachers from different racial/ethnic groups. Second, there is almost no empirical evidence that speaks to the link between preservice teachers' multicultural awareness and their pedagogical proficiency (domains of practice outlined by Danielson, 2011), such as candidates' ability to foster meaningful relationships with students and to promote a positive classroom environment. This article affords insight into these fundamental relationships.

In this article, we use a sample of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs in a large northeastern university and ask four research questions:

Research Question 1: Are there racial/ethnic differences in multicultural awareness?

Research Question 2: What characteristics of preservice candidates, their educational experiences, and their teacher training programs are associated with multicultural awareness?

Research Question 3: Does the link between prior experience teaching minority youth and multicultural awareness differ by race/ethnicity of the respondent?

Research Question 4: Is multicultural awareness linked with pedagogical proficiency?

Data and Method

Sample description

This study employs a novel survey of preservice teachers' multicultural beliefs in combination with observational assessments of individuals' performance in student teaching. Data for this study were collected from 2,473 undergraduate-and graduate-level preservice candidates enrolled in initial teacher certification programs between 2010 and 2015 at a large private university in the mid-Atlantic United States. Data represent approximately 75% of newly enrolled students in these programs, and are based on initial teacher surveys administered within the first few months of students' first semesters. Of the 2,473 cases included in the dataset, 95.3%, or 2,357 cases, included valid (i.e., complete) responses for both the Multicultural Awareness scale and covariates used in analyses. Because surveys were administered multiple times throughout candidates' program enrollment, only data from individuals' initial surveys were retained for these analyses.

In analyses that examine the link between preservice teachers' multicultural beliefs and their pedagogical practice, we used a subsample of the remaining survey respondents who also had valid data from an observation-based assessment of student teaching scored by trained external reviewers. Observation measures evaluated candidates' performance in multiple domains of pedagogical practice. For the vast majority of cases, these scaled scores correspond with raters' assessments of candidates' pedagogical proficiency during their first semester of student teaching. A total of 1,498 individuals had valid data for both the initial survey and the observation-based evaluations of student teaching. Data from this subset of survey respondents are used in analyses that link early multicultural awareness to later proficiency in student teaching placements. Respondents for whom only survey data existed were similar to those with data from both the survey and the observational assessment of student teaching: There were no statistically significant differences between these groups in terms of levels of multicultural awareness, race/ethnicity, gender, education level, and prior experience working with minority youth.


The first outcome measure of the analyses of this article is a measure of pedagogical proficiency: an external reviewer rating scale of the classroom environment of the student teacher's teaching placement. The Domain Referenced Student Teacher Observation Scale (DRSTOS-R) is an institutionally developed adaptation of Charlotte Danielson's (2007) Framework for Teaching, a widely cited observation protocol assessment of pedagogical proficiency designed to align with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) core teaching standards. Domains of practice associated with Danielson's Framework for Teaching (FfT) protocol have been extensively reviewed as part of the 2010 Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project (Kane & Staiger, 2012), data of which focused on the practice of inservice classroom teachers. The DRSTOS-R was designed in 2004, with input from teacher education faculty, to modify Danielson's framework for use with a preservice population, and to focus the measure more specifically on 20 key elements of pedagogical proficiency. Both the DRSTOS-R and Danielson's original protocol were developed to assess pedagogical proficiency irrespective of content area, targeting elements of proficient pedagogy theorized as common across all content areas and grade levels. Over the next 5 years, with input from faculty and clinical supervisors, the DRSTOS-R measure was expanded to include 23 items. Items were organized according to four conceptual domains (Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities) and rated on a 1- to 4-Likert-ype scale ranging from not yet proficient to proficient. Construct validity of the DRSTOS-R was assessed using exploratory factor analysis. A principal components factor analysis revealed that a single factor explained 60% of the variance in the scores of the 20 items for a sample of 432 teacher education students. The scree plot for this factor analysis shows the strong unidimensionality of the factor structure for the scale. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that a single construct of pedagogical proficiency underlies the items in the four domains of the scale. The potency of this latent construct is indicated by the high loadings of all items on this single factor. This finding does not negate the utility of the domain scores for instructional purposes. We have observed patterns of differences and similarities in the domain and item scores that suggest they are systematically measuring other unique but important aspects of teaching and learning.

As a summative measure, the DRSTOS-R is completed at the end of each student teaching placement by a university supervisor who has attended training and met a sufficient standard for interrater reliability. In rating, supervisors take into account evidence of preservice candidates' pedagogical performance collected over the course of the semester, including interactions with the preservice candidates, lesson plans, written and oral reflections, and a minimum of three classroom observations. In this article, the measure of classroom environment is a continuous measure, and is a factor variable with a normalized weighted sum score on nine individual items where the weights are proportional to the factor loadings and normalized to sum to 1. Higher values on this scale therefore reflect better classroom environments. Each of the nine individual items is on a scale of 1 to 4, with higher scores reflecting greater mastery of each skill. Measures are the quality of teacher interaction with pupils, classroom interaction, transitions, materials and supplies, the functioning of learning groups, how much teachers and students share mutual expectations of classroom conduct, and how aware the teacher is of pupil behavior.

The key independent variable for the first set of analyses is the Educational Beliefs and Multicultural Attitudes Scale (EBMAS), which was developed in 2007 as a measure of teacher candidates' beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions toward teaching in multicultural settings (Tobias, 2013). The 29-item survey yields five underlying constructs, one of which is the multicultural awareness (Tian, 2011). This scale functions as the major outcome of this study, and captures the teachers' awareness of, comfort with, and sensitivity to issues of cultural pluralism in the classroom. The eight survey questions, with response categories ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strong agree), constituting this scale ask respondents to identify the extent to which they agree to the following statements:

(1). To be an effective teacher, one needs to be aware of cultural differences present in the classroom. (2). I can learn a great deal from students with culturally different backgrounds. (3). Being multiculturally aware is not relevant for the subject I teach. (4). Teachers have the responsibility to be aware of their students' cultural background. (5). Teaching methods need to be adapted to meet the needs of a culturally diverse student group. (6). Multicultural training for teachers is not necessary. (7). Multicultural awareness training can help me to work more effectively with a diverse student population. (8). Ultimately, a teacher can't do much because most of a student's motivation and performance depends on his or her home environment.

We use confirmatory factor analysis to verify the structure of this scale, and find the Cronbach's alpha value for this scale to be .83. The EBMAS subscale measure of multicultural awareness also serves as the outcome measure in the second set of analyses. We use a binary construction of multicultural awareness to reflect those with high levels of multicultural awareness, coded 1 if the respondent is in the top fifth of values on the multicultural awareness scale and 0 if not.

The second set of analyses of this article focuses on the race/ethnicity of the respondent. This variable is a categorical measure indicating whether the respondent is White, Asian (American), Latino, Black, or Other (which includes respondents who report they are Native American, African, West Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, or Multiple/Mixed Race). The survey asked respondents to write in their own racial and/or ethnic identification (with examples such as "White, Asian, Black, etc."). Very few respondents--less than 3%--wrote more than one indicator, and those who did were categorized as "Multiple/Mixed Race," which in the analyses is coded "Other." In the analyses, White respondents are the reference group. Other measures represent whether the respondent is female (coded 1 if female and 0 if male), an international student (coded 1 if an international student and 0 if not), or a graduate student (coded 1 if a graduate student and 0 if an undergraduate student). A categorical measure represents the certification type of the program in which the respondent is enrollment, and includes early childhood/childhood (preschool-Grade 5), English, math, science, social studies, art education/dance education/ educational theater, foreign language, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and other types. The reference group in the analyses is student teachers enrolled in early childhood/childhood programs. Finally, a binary measure represents whether the respondent has taught minority students before entering the program (coded 1 if yes and 0 if no). Descriptive statistics on all analytical variables used in this article can be found in Table 1.

Analytic Strategy

The analyses begin by addressing our first and second research questions: whether there are racial/ethnic differences in multicultural awareness and other factors that may shape these relationships. We examine potential differences in multicultural awareness by the characteristics of respondents enrolled in a teacher preparation program using two statistical analyses: two sample t tests and regression analyses. To examine whether prior experience working with minority youth is linked with multicultural awareness, and whether these links differ by respondents--the focus of our third research question--we include interaction terms between respondent's race/ethnicity and whether the respondent has prior experience working with minority youth. We also calculate predicted scores to illustrate group differences revealed in interaction models. The specifications for the linear regression models are provided below:

1. Factor measure (linear regression)

Y = [alpha] + [[beta].sub.1][X.sub.1] (respondent characteristics) + [[beta].sub.2][X.sub.2] (program characteristics) + [[beta].sub.3][X.sub.3] (prior experience working with minority students) + [epsilon].

The linear regression equation includes the following covariates: Student characteristics are race/ethnicity, sex, international student status, and graduate student status. Program characteristics are the certification type, [alpha] is the random intercept, and E is the error term.

Next, we address our fourth research question by investigating whether multicultural awareness matters for pedagogical proficiency: classroom environment. Given that an investigation of this relationship needs to address issues with selection--in this case, that students with and without high levels of multicultural awareness likely differ on a set of characteristics (in addition to teaching outcomes)--we use propensity score matching, which adjusts for potential selection effects into having high levels of multicultural awareness (Rosenbaum & Rubin, 1983). For example, whether the student has prior experience teaching minority students may be linked with both their levels of multicultural awareness and teaching. The treatment group in this propensity score matching involves students with high levels of multicultural awareness, as defined as individuals in the top quintile of self-report values on the scale. The control group involves those who are not in the top quintile of multicultural awareness. The outcome variable is the teacher's observed proficiency in establishing and maintaining a positive classroom environment. To perform the propensity score matching procedure and estimation of treatment effects, we use the Stata program PSMATCH2 (Leuven & Sianesi, 2015). The matching technique we use is the nearest neighbor (five closest) distance matching technique after randomly ordering the dataset. We use a logistic regression model for matching to estimate the student teacher's likelihood of having high multicultural awareness. The equation includes the following independent variables that are likely to shape multicultural awareness: respondent race/ethnicity, sex, international student status, graduate student status, certification program, and prior experience working with minority youth. There exist no substantial differences between the means and proportions of covariates between treated and control groups after matching. Moreover, there are substantial overlaps in propensity scores (see Appendix Table Al for reduction in bias of variables and Appendix Figure Al for graph of propensity scores by treatment status).


We begin by addressing the first research question, which asks whether there are racial/ethnic differences in multicultural awareness. Table 2 shows descriptive statistics for the Multicultural Awareness scale. Overall, there are racial/ethnic differences. Black and Latino preservice teachers report having greater multicultural awareness compared with White respondents: Black and Latino respondents have 0.30 and 0.19 of a standard deviation higher scores than White respondents. Asian American student teachers, however, report having lower values on the Multicultural Awareness scale compared with White preservice teachers.

From Table 2, we find that there are racial/ethnic differences in multicultural awareness. However, these patterns may be shaped by other student and program characteristics. We turn next to Table 3, which shows coefficients from linear regression models estimating values on the Multicultural Awareness scale. Model 1 includes measures of the race/ethnicity of the respondent, as well as whether the respondent is female or an international student. Model 2 adds a measure of whether the student is a graduate student (vs. an undergraduate student). Model 3 also includes the certification type of the student teacher, and Model 4 adds a measure of whether the respondent had previously worked with minority youth. To examine whether the relationship between prior experience working with minority youth and multicultural beliefs differs by race/ethnicity of the respondent, we turn to Model 5, which includes interaction terms between the race/ ethnicity of the respondent and whether the respondent has worked with minority youth before.

Overall, Table 3 confirms the findings of Table 2: Preservice teachers belonging to different racial/ethnic groups have different levels of multicultural awareness. Turning first to Model 1, we find evidence that Latino and Black respondents have greater multicultural awareness than their White respondents and in contrast, Asian American respondents report having less multicultural awareness than White teachers. After considering gender and international student status, Black and Latino preservice teachers have 0.20 and 0.12 higher scores on the Multicultural Awareness scale (beta coefficient = .20, SE = 0.05, p value = .008; beta coefficient = . 12, SE = 0.04, p value = .000) compared with Whites, and Asian preservice teachers have 0.17 lower scores (beta coefficient = -.17, SE = 0.03, p value = .000) than Whites. These patterns hold across the rest of the models in the tables in main effects models that take into consideration the level of education, certification type, and prior experience working with minority youth (Models 1-4).

Turning next to Model 5, we find evidence that prior experience working with minority youth--significant in both this model and Model 4--is positively associated with multicultural beliefs, but that this relationship is stronger for some groups of minority preservice teachers. Specifically, the relationship between prior experience working with minority youth and multicultural awareness is stronger for Latino and Other, and to an extent Asian American respondents than for White respondents.

Other factors are also associated with multicultural awareness. There is consistent evidence that female respondents report being more multiculturally aware than their male counterparts (Models 1-5). In Model 1, we find some evidence that international respondents are more multiculturally aware than noninternational preservice teachers; however, the coefficient is only marginally significant in Model 1 and not statistically significant once other measures are included (Models 2-5). Respondents who are currently graduate students also have higher scale measures than undergraduate students (Models 2-5). The certification program in which the preservice teachers are enrolled also matters (Model 3). For example, coefficients suggest that preservice teachers in math, science, and social studies programs are less multiculturally aware than preservice teachers in early childhood/ childhood studies (the reference category). Respondents in art/dance/theater education, foreign language, TESOL, and other certification programs report similar levels of multicultural awareness as do early childhood/childhood studies pre-service teachers.

To illustrate the different relationships between prior experience working with minority youth and multicultural awareness, we turn to Figure 1, which shows predicted values of the Multicultural Awareness scale by the race/ethnicity of the respondent and whether the respondent has prior experience working with minority youth. The difference in Multicultural Awareness scale values between White respondents who have and have not worked with minority youth before entering the program is 0.13. In contrast, the differences between Asians, Latinos, and Others with and without prior experience are significantly larger: 0.23,0.32, and 0.41, respectively. The difference between Black preservice teachers with and without prior experience working with minority youth is the same as for Whites, which reflects the nonstatistically significant interaction term in the previous table (Table 3, Model 5).

Next, we turn to our last research question, which asks whether multicultural awareness is linked with pedagogical practice and proficiency. Table 4 shows results from a propensity score matching analysis: treatment effects of having high levels of multicultural belief on maintaining a strong classroom environment. From this table, we see that respondents with high levels of multicultural awareness, even after factoring in potential selection effects, are slightly more effective at creating a strong classroom environment than their peers with lower levels of multicultural awareness. Moreover, the correlation between continuous measures of multicultural awareness and creating a strong classroom environment is .46.


Despite long-standing interest in developing the multicultural awareness and pedagogical proficiencies of new teachers to meet the needs of demographically and culturally diverse student populations, there is little work that examines whether individuals enter teacher education programs with different levels of multicultural awareness, and whether multicultural awareness is linked with demonstrated teaching proficiency. This article attempts to address these gaps: First, we find that multicultural awareness, as a resource and key element of cultural competence, is possessed unevenly by preservice teachers belonging to different racial/ethnic groups, as well as those whose prior experiences involve work with youth from minority groups. We find that there are racial/ethnic differences in levels of multicultural awareness, and that prior experience in school settings serving minority populations positively, but differentially, influences multicultural awareness.

These differences are consistent with prior research that finds that Black and Latino teachers, drawing upon their own identities and experiences as racial/ethnic minorities, are often more aware of and sensitive toward cultural differences compared with their White counterparts. What is less clear is why Asian Americans report having lower levels of multicultural awareness. As a group that is both referred to as the "Invisible" and "White" minority, Asian American student teachers may believe that multicultural education, like other discourses on race/ethnicity that make little mention of Asian Americans, does not include or embrace their identities. Therefore, Asian Americans may perceive that multicultural awareness refers mainly, or exclusively, to understandings of Black and Latino populations. Moreover, the "Model Minority" stereotype--the idea that Asian American high achievement is an exemplar to which other groups should aspire--may be linked with the results of this article. Prior research has examined how Asian Americans operate under this stereotype, and has found that Asian Americans will sometimes distance themselves from other minority groups to maintain their secondary status as the corrective, rather than the corrected, nondominant group. However, these exclusionary actions ultimately reinforce existing racial hierarchies in education and the broader society, which continue to marginalize all communities of color and maintain the White hegemonic norm (Leonardo, 2002).

That preservice teachers in different content area and grade-level programs report different levels of multicultural awareness is also notable. For example, compared with teacher candidates in early childhood/childhood education programs, those in math, science, and social studies came to their programs with lower levels of multicultural awareness. Conceivably, these differences may result from effects of self-selection into programs: Those individuals attracted to early childhood and childhood teaching may be more attuned to differences in students' backgrounds as they relate to child development. Conversely, candidates oriented toward single-subject teaching in secondary settings may be more focused on acquiring pedagogical content knowledge and discipline-specific skills. Content-area instruction has occasionally been linked with racial/ethnic stereotypes; for example, work by Ladson-Billings (1997, 2009) has argued that math teachers, in particular, may be predisposed to form essentialist notions that their Black students are less capable of learning the subject, while work on the Model Minority Stereotype argues that some groups of Asian American youth are stereotyped to excel in math (Kao, 1995; Lee, 1996). Similarly, Martin (2009) argues that "existing mathematics education ... policies have facilitated the social devaluation of African American, Latino, and Native American students with respect to mathematics literacy while affording social appreciation to many White and Asian American students" (p. 318). Future work should examine more closely the extent to which differences in teachers' content-area specialization and grade-level certification are associated with variation in their multicultural attitudes and beliefs.

Results from this analysis also show that Latino and Asian American preservice teachers benefit more from prior experience working with minority youth than their White peers. In the case of Latino preservice teachers, it may be that identification with a nondominant ethnic group provides a useful framework for understanding racial difference, or that their own cultural experiences have prepared them to more readily attend to the needs of minority students. Asian American preservice teachers, who may not as readily define their personal history with vocabularies of race and ethnicity, may develop a stronger racial consciousness through working with students of color.

Second, we find that multicultural beliefs are linked with MET; in this case, the ability of preservice teachers to foster a strong classroom environment. Although this analysis does not permit us to link classroom environment with pupil achievement due to the scope of student teachers' instructional roles, existing research on classroom-level factors has shown that teachers' competence in establishing positive classroom climate influences a variety of student outcomes, particularly in relationship to youth from underserved communities (Davis & Jordan, 1994; Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). As a correlate of skills associated with building positive classroom environments, teachers' multicultural awareness likely contributes to their pupils' academic success (if not directly, then through culturally responsive teaching practices), with implications for how we structure, implement, and assess teacher preparation for multicultural schools. To the extent that multicultural awareness can be developed, through thoughtfully designed field and classroom experiences, efforts to increase individuals' sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural difference may also foster critical awareness of structural instantiations of hegemony.

In light of the persistent demographic divide between a predominantly White teaching force and evermore racially and ethnically diverse P-12 schools, educators' abilities to promote prosocial and inclusive classroom environments are crucial to reducing achievement gaps and fostering positive outcomes for all students. Given trends in enrollment of both P-12 institutions and teacher preparation programs, noted discrepancies in the lived experiences and cultural frames of reference of teachers and students are likely to persist, underscoring the importance of equipping all teachers with essential multicultural knowledge, skills, and dispositions. To provide evidence of programmatic effectiveness in teacher preparation, teacher educators, researchers, and policymakers must utilize tools that explicitly focus on factors that contribute to new teacher effectiveness working with all populations.

Results from this study can inform teacher education policy, and meaningfully focus both curriculum and instruction on preservice teachers that would benefit most from multicultural awareness. As we understand better factors that shape multicultural awareness, we can not only better teach our existing preservice teachers but also better inform our recruitment efforts of teachers with greater levels of multicultural awareness. For example, our article establishes that prior experience working with youth of color is linked with more multicultural awareness, which is in turn associated with greater ability to foster positive classroom environments. Greater recruitment efforts can be taken in community organizations that serve students of color to get better teachers. While findings of this study suggest that recruiting and maintaining a more racially and ethnically diverse teaching force remains an important part of this agenda, such diversification is by no means a panacea. Research has documented how coarse recruitment strategies can place significant burden on teachers of color, who despite shared backgrounds with particular groups of students confront the same systemic and institutional challenges as their colleagues (Buendia, Gitlin, & Doumbia, 2003). And while evidence suggests that teachers of color can serve as uniquely valuable resources to their students, as role models and cultural brokers (Villegas & Irvine, 2010), prioritizing racial/ ethnic alignment between students and teachers does not guarantee positive relationships or effective teaching (Maylor, 2009; Villegas, 2007).

Our article has a number of limitations that should be stated: Although we have argued for the importance of understanding how--and to what extent--multicultural awareness varies, and how it relates to evidence of later pedagogical proficiency in preservice teaching, our findings stop short of claims regarding candidates' overarching cultural competence, for which survey and observation protocol data can provide only one view. And while the questions that form our measure of multicultural awareness are statistically linked, we acknowledge that it is difficult to measure such concepts using the survey format.

Our sample is drawn from one large institution in an urban context, where the student population is racially and ethnically diverse. It is possibly the case that prospective teachers who opt to attend such an institution come to their programs more multiculturally aware, or with greater intercultural exposure, than those who elect otherwise. Moreover, students' multicultural awareness is likely influenced by the demographic diversity of the community surrounding the institution. Although the analyses we present consider potential selection bias among individuals within our sample, we cannot address the fact that students who attend this particular institution may be different from others. Future work should sample from a variety of institutions and alternative program models to further unpack variation in preservice candidates' multicultural awareness, and to understand how differences in institutional context and program structure might influence the beliefs of entering students. The equation used for the propensity score matching analysis described in this article includes only observable measures, and therefore may exclude important but omitted factors that predict high levels of multicultural awareness. Future work can address this issue with different survey instruments and measures that account for different dimensions of pedagogical and cultural competence. To fully understand how candidates' prior experiences in diverse school settings shape their conceptions of multiculturalism, studies employing mixed methods can tease apart differences in individuals' and groups' definitions of multicultural education and diversity. Given evidence that candidates' early multicultural awareness may correspond with dimensions of later pedagogical proficiency, similar studies should examine links between early multicultural awareness (or lack thereof) and subsequent professional outcomes, such as inservice teaching evaluations and measures of self-efficacy.

Despite long-standing commitments to multiculturalism in teacher education, considerable challenges remain in preparing new teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work effectively with increasingly diverse P-12 populations. In support of efforts to identify, recruit, and develop candidates whose worldviews and educational beliefs are aligned with equity and access for all students, our article begins with a systematic evaluation of key assumptions underlying multicultural reform and policy initiatives in education. Through a deeper understanding of the relationships between preservice teachers' background characteristics, multicultural beliefs, and evolving pedagogical competencies, this work contributes to the knowledge base on teacher preparation for diversity, and prompts further investigation into the development of cultural competence in teaching.

Table A1. Reduction in Bias of Variables After
Propensity Score Matching.

                        Unmatched           M
Variable                 Matched    Treated   Control

Asian                       U        0.35      0.22
                            M        0.31      0.30
Latino                      U        0.06      0.10
                            M        0.06      0.05
Black                       U        0.03      0.07
                            M        0.03      0.03
Other                       U        0.05      0.06
                            M        0.05      0.04
Female                      U        0.79      0.85
                            M        0.80      0.82
International student       U        0.14      0.11
                            M        0.11      0.12
Graduate student            U        0.49      0.62
                            M        0.59      0.61
Certification type
English                     U        0.11      0.12
                            M        0.11      0.11
Math                        U        0.11      0.05
                            M        0.12      0.10
Science                     U        0.06      0.05
                            M        0.08      0.08
Social studies              U        0.05      0.04
                            M        0.04      0.04
Art/dance/theater ed.       U        0.18      0.20
                            M        0.19      0.20
Foreign language            U        0.05      0.05
                            M        0.05      0.05
TESOL                       U        0.08      0.11
                            M        0.08      0.10
Other                       U        0.02      0.02
                            M        0.02      0.02
Has taught minority         U        0.42      0.62
   students                 M        0.50      0.48

                            in bias            t test

Variable                % bias    Bias    t test   p > t

Asian                   27.40              6.83     .00
                         3.80    86.30     0.62     .54
Latino                  -13.90            -3.35     .00
                         2.90    79.40     0.57     .57
Black                   -18.90            -4.48     .00
                         2.50    86.60     0.56     .58
Other                   -6.50             -1.57     .12
                         4.60    28.00     0.84     .40
Female                  -15.70            -3.97     .00
                        -6.10    61.10    -1.01     .31
International student   11.70              2.96     .00
                        -3.20    72.30    -0.56     .58
Graduate student        -28.00            -6.98     .00
                        -3.20    88.50    -0.54     .59
Certification type
English                 -5.00             -1.23     .22
                         1.20    76.00     0.20     .84
Math                    24.00              6.19     .00
                         7.00    71.00     1.02     .31
Science                  7.90              1.98     .05
                        -3.00    62.30    -0.42     .68
Social studies           4.00              1.00     .32
                         0.00    100.00    0.00    1.00
Art/dance/theater ed.   -5.80             -1.42     .16
                        -1.90    66.50    -0.32     .75
Foreign language        -1.10             -0.27     .79
                         1.50    -41.50    0.27     .79
TESOL                   -9.30             -2.28     .02
                        -6.70    27.40    -1.14     .25
Other                   -2.60             -0.63     .53
                        -1.70    32.00    -0.30     .77
Has taught minority     -40.70            -10.14    .00
   students              2.70    93.30     0.45     .65

Note. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Table A2. Coefficients From Linear Regression Models
Predicting Learning Environment Scale.

Multicultural Awareness scale                           0.05 **
Race/ethnicity (ref: White)
   Asian                                               -0.05
   Latino                                              0.04
   Black                                               -0.12 *
   Other                                               -0.18 ***
Female                                                  0.12 ***
International student                                  0.05
Graduate student (ref: Under.)                          0.13 ***
Certification type (ref: Early childhood/childhood)
   English                                             0.02
   Math                                                -0.24 ***
   Science                                              0.17 ***
   Social studies                                      0.08
   Art/dance/theater education                         -0.01
   Foreign language                                     0.18 ***
   TESOL                                                0.27 ***
   Other                                                0.42 ***
Has prior teaching experience                           0.09 ***
Constant                                               2 53  ***
Observations                                           1,497
[R.sup.2]                                               .13

Note. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
* p < .I. ** p < .05. *** p < .01.

DOI: 10.1177/00224871187742884

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


(1.) Although conceptualizations of multicultural education vary considerably, Grant and Sleeter's (2006) typology frames much of the literature on preparing teachers for diversity, alongside theoretical contributions by Banks (2004) and Nieto (2004).

(2.) While the concept of diversity is broadly conceived in the literature on education, this work employs a definition focused primarily on differences associated with race, ethnicity, and culture. Research illustrates that these factors, regarded individually and interdependently, correspond with persistent patterns of inequality in resource allocation and educational outcomes (Rothstein, 2004). Moreover, this framing acknowledges the expanding demographic divide between a predominantly White, middle-class, and monolingual English-speaking teaching force and the increasingly multicultural population being served by the nation's public schools.


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Author Biographies

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng is an assistant professor of international education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His interests include comparative perspectives on race/ethnicity (with a focus on the United States and China), immigrant adaptation, and social capital within the school and educational context. One branch of this research focuses on the interactions between teachers and students of color and immigrant youth, and how teachers are trained to talk about race. He had worked previously as a middle school math teacher in San Francisco.

Laura A. Davis is the assistant director of the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her research focuses on diversity in teacher education, sociopolitical dimensions of teachers' work, and the assessment of multicultural competencies in teaching. She had worked previously as an elementary classroom teacher in Los Angeles, and is presently teaching undergraduate courses in sociology of education.

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng (1) and Laura A. Davis (1)

(1) New York University, New York City, USA

Corresponding Author.

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, New York University, 246 Greene Street, New York City, NY 10003, USA. Email:

Caption: Figure 1. Predicted values of Multicultural Beliefs scale, by race/ ethnicity and prior experience working with minority youth.

Caption: Figure A1. Graph of propensity score by treatment status.
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics of Variables Used in Analyses.

                                             M/%     SD
Outcome measures
   Classroom Environment scale              2.95    0.74
   Multicultural Awareness scale            5.38    0.60
Independent variables
   High multicultural awareness            19.50
   Teacher race/ethnicity
   White                                   52.72
   Asian                                   27.32
   Latino                                   8.67
   Black                                    5.77
   Other                                    5.53
   Teacher is female                       82.54
   Teacher is an international student     12.08
   Teacher is a graduate student           57.17
   Certification program
   Childhood                               35.21
   English                                 11.44
   Math                                     7.53
   Science                                  5.39
   Social studies                           4.33
   Art/dance/theater education             18.97
   Foreign language                         5.39
   TESOL                                     9.6
   Other                                    2.15
   Teacher has taught minority              55.5
   students before

Note. The analytic n is 2,357. TESOL = Teaching English to
Speakers of Other Languages.

Table 2. Means on Multicultural Awareness Scale by Respondent

                                       M      SD      from White
   White                              5.39   0.61
   Asian                              5.25   0.57        ***
   Latino                             5.51   0.57         **
   Black                              5.58   0.46        ***
   Other                              5.39   0.68
   Male                               5.24   0.70
   Female                             5.41   0.58        ***
Student type
   Domestic student                   5.38   0.61
   International student              5.32   0.55
Program level
   Undergraduate student              5.26   0.64
   Graduate student                   5.46   0.55        ***
Certification type
   Early childhood/childhood          5.40   0.59
   English                            5.46   0.57
   Math                               5.06   0.70        ***
   Science                            5.26   0.64        ***
   Social studies                     5.25   0.74         **
   Art/dance/theater education        5.40   0.56
   Foreign language                   5.40   0.57
   TESOL                              5.47   0.54
   Other                              5.44   0.49
Prior experience
   Has not taught minority students   5.26   0.62
   Has taught minority students       5.49   0.56        ***

Note. The analytic n is 2,357. Reference groups are White, male,
domestic student, undergraduate student, and early childhood/childhood
certification programs. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other

* p < .1. ** p < .05. *** p <.01.

Table 3. Coefficients From Linear Regression Models Estimating
Multicultural Awareness Scale.

                                        (1)         (2)
Race/ethnicity (ref: White)
   Asian                                -0.17 ***   -0.14 ***
   Asian X Taught Minority Students
   Latino                               0.12 ***    0.15 ***
   Latino X Taught Minority Students
   Black                                0.20 ***    0.18 ***
   Black X Taught Minority Students
   Other                                -0.01       0.01
   Other X Taught Minority Students
Female                                  0.18 ***    0.19 ***
International student                   0.07 *      0.01
Graduate student (ref: Undergraduate)               0.21 ***
Certification type (ref: Early
   Social studies
   Art/dance/theater education
   Foreign language
Has taught minority students
Observations                            2,357       2,357
[R.sup.2]                               .04         .06

                                        (3)         (4)
Race/ethnicity (ref: White)
   Asian                                -0.12 ***   -0.11 ***
   Asian X Taught Minority Students
   Latino                               0.15 ***    0.12 ***
   Latino X Taught Minority Students
   Black                                0.17 ***    0.14 ***
   Black X Taught Minority Students
   Other                                0.01        -0.01
   Other X Taught Minority Students
Female                                  0.14 ***    0.14 ***
International student                   -0.03       0.02
Graduate student (ref: Undergraduate)   0.20 ***    0.17 ***
Certification type (ref: Early
   English                              0.04        0.05
   Math                                 -0.31 ***   -0.31 ***
   Science                              -0.15 ***   -0.12 **
   Social studies                       -0.15 **    -0.14 **
   Art/dance/theater education          -0.02       -0.02
   Foreign language                     0.02        0.03
   TESOL                                0.01        0.02
   Other                                -0.01       0.01
Has taught minority students                        0.19 ***
Observations                            2,357       2,357
[R.sup.2]                               .09         .11

Race/ethnicity (ref: White)
   Asian                                -0.16 ***
   Asian X Taught Minority Students     0.10 *
   Latino                               -0.00
   Latino X Taught Minority Students    0.19 **
   Black                                0.15
   Black X Taught Minority Students     -0.00
   Other                                -0.18 **
   Other X Taught Minority Students     0.27 **
Female                                  0.14 ***
International student                   0.03
Graduate student (ref: Undergraduate)   0.17 ***
Certification type (ref: Early
   English                              0.05
   Math                                 -0.30 ***
   Science                              -0.13 **
   Social studies                       -0.14 **
   Art/dance/theater education          -0.02
   Foreign language                     0.03
   TESOL                                0.01
   Other                                0.01
Has taught minority students            0.13 ***
Observations                            2,357
[R.sup.2]                               .11

Note. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

* p < .1. ** p < .05. *** p <.01.

Table 4. Treatment Effects of Having High Multicultural Awareness
on Externally Rated Measure of Classroom Environment Scale.

Variable      Sample      Treated   Controls

Classroom     Unmatched   3.08      2.98
              ATT         3.08      3.02

Variable      Difference   SE     t-stat

Classroom     0.10         0.03   3.86
              0.06         0.03   1.84

Note. Differences between treatment and control groups, both
before and after matching, are statistically significant at
the p < .05 level. ATT: average effect of treatment on the treated.
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Title Annotation:Research/Empirical
Author:Cherng, Hua-Yu Sebastian; Davis, Laura A.
Publication:Journal of Teacher Education
Article Type:Report
Date:May 1, 2019
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