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This study examined preservice teachers' responses to a survey that assessed their tolerance of difference in race, gender, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, and sexual preference. It also investigated their perspectives concerning welfare recipients and non-English speaking people. During the fall 1998 semester, 117 preservice teachers enrolled in the required two-semester Development and Diversity classes at the University of Mississippi completed a 21-item instrument that measured tolerance of differences. The instrument was administered prior to instruction at the beginning of the semester. Data analysis indicated that overall, respondents were consistently accepting of ethnic, racial, and gender differences; children with behavior disorders; and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. They were inconsistent in their acceptance of people with disabilities, issues related to the welfare system, issues related to declaring English as the United States' primary language, admission of non-English speaking immigrants to the United States, religious differences, and sexual preference differences. (SM)

Descriptors: Cultural Differences, Disabilities, Diversity (Student), Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Higher Education, Non English Speaking, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Racial Differences, Religion, Sex Differences, Sexuality, Socioeconomic Status, Student Behavior, Student Teacher Attitudes, Students, Welfare Recipients

Autor: Rowland, Sidney; Harlan, Joan; Arnold, Mit


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