Encouraging & Recruiting Students of Color to Teach

By Newby, Diane E.; Swift, Karen L. et al. | Multicultural Education, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Encouraging & Recruiting Students of Color to Teach

Newby, Diane E., Swift, Karen L., Newby, Robert G., Multicultural Education


With the diversity in American classrooms reaching monumental proportions, the resounding cry to expand the number of teachers of color has been on the national agenda for the past decade (Anglin, 1989, 1988; Matcznski & Joseph, 1989). Our classrooms are rich with students from a complex mix of races, cultures, sexual orientations, mental and physical abilities, religious affiliations, family structures, and socioeconomic statuses (Haberman, 1989; Hutchinson & Johnson 1993).

It is apparent that students ofthe 21 st Century will come from more diverse cultures and backgrounds than in any previous time. Teachers of the early 21st Century, however, will remain, in general, a very homogeneous group. In fact, ifthe current trends continues, the percentage of teachers of color will decline to approximately five percent or less by the year 2005 (American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, 1988; Goodwin, 1991; & Lankard, 1994).

John I. Goodlad (1990) described this situation when he wrote, "The minority teacher role (black males for example) thought to be so crucial-given the rapidly changing population demographics-appears to be in devastatingly short supply" (p. 245). The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1988) has warned that ifa national intervention policy is not instituted to reverse this trend, the faces of teachers of color could disappear from the nation's classrooms.

Throughout the 1980s, researchers argued that many more certified teachers of color were needed to reflect the increasing diversity of students in American classrooms (Anglin, 1989; Matcznski & Joseph, 1989). However, in the early 1990s, it was believed that not nearly enough progress had been made to increase the number of teachers of color to an acceptable level. The situation was viewed as one of the most critical issues facing teacher education. (Boykin 1992; Villegas, 1995; Melnick & Zeichner, 1998). To emphasize the need for increasing the number of teachers of color, Villegas and Clewell (1998) expressed this rationale:

The argument most frequently made for increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of the teaching force is that a democratic society needs teachers of color to serve as role models for all students.... The presence of minority teachers gives students of color hope that they too can grow up to occupy responsible positions in our society. White students can also benefit from a racially and ethnically diverse teaching force. By seeing people of color in professional roles, White youngsters are helped to dispel myths of racial inferiority and incompetence that many have come to internalize about people of color. (pp. 121,122)

The prevelance ofresearch and related literature on recruiting people of color to teach is increasing. Scheetz (1998) found that collaborative partnerships between local school districts and institutions of higher education are becoming a recognized method for identifying and recruiting teacher assistants to enroll in teacher certification programs. Joy and Bruschi (1995) reported on seven such collaboratives. These programs modified existing professional education courses and offered flexible course scheduling to minimize any interruption to the teacher assistants' employment or work schedules. Their report presented the following recommendations:

... programs should offer teacher assistants a career path. They should provide program or university/college support services, including counseling, advising, and faculty support or mentoring. Programs should give participants credits for their work experience in classrooms. Programs should offer flexible course schedules to accommodate teacher assistants' needs. (p. 72)

Villegas (1995) studied four approaches used by institutions of higher education to increase the pool of teachers of color. These approaches involved: (a) recruiting students from local community colleges into undergraduate teacher education programs; (b) recruiting and preparing teaching assistants from local school districts; (c) recruiting students with baccalaureate degrees into fifth-year or post-baccalaureate teacher education; and (d) developing an innovative curriculum to prepare students to teach in culturally diverse classrooms.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Encouraging & Recruiting Students of Color to Teach


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?