Social Foundations and Multicultural Education Course Requirements in Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States

By Neumann; Richard | Educational Foundations, Summer-Fall 2010 | Go to article overview

Social Foundations and Multicultural Education Course Requirements in Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States


Neumann, Richard, Educational Foundations


Teacher quality has been a central issue in discourse on improvement of schooling outcomes. While the importance of teacher quality is widely acknowledged, there is considerable dispute regarding necessary skills, knowledge, and dispositions of a highly qualified teacher, as well as the methods for producing such teachers. Indeed, even the definition of teacher effectiveness is contested. One area of teacher preparation that has been marginalized in the debate on teacher quality is the social foundations of education (SFE), a critical, interdisciplinary area of study that examines education and schooling through lenses of history, philosophy, and the social sciences (Tozar & Miretsky, 2000). In recent years, and particularly since the onset of the new century, the value of skills, knowledge, and dispositions promoted in teacher preparation SFE courses and the subsumed or related knowledge domain of multicultural education (ME), have been largely ignored in policy documents

on teacher quality. Whether disregard of these knowledge and skill areas has had or will have an impact on course requirements in this domain in teacher preparation programs is an important question that should be of interest to those who value the content and goals of SFE/ME.

Although limitations of extant data preclude comparison of current course requirements in SFE/ME with those in teacher education programs of the past, establishment of a benchmark on course requirements in this area will help clarify the status of SFE/ME in the field and enable future assessments of trends. This study examined the question of course requirements in SFE and ME in university-based teacher preparation programs in the United States that lead to an initial credential.

Context

Teacher education has long been under siege from many quarters. As David F. Labaree (2004) explains, schools of education are commonly perceived as low-status members of the university academic community, where many professors outside the field regard the discipline as intellectually impoverished. Teachers and teaching-credential candidates often complain of onerous assignments and too much attention to theory in education courses, which they perceive to have little practical value to their work in the real world of schools and classrooms. Policymakers frequently identify teacher education programs as a fundamental cause of bad teaching and poor schooling outcomes. These criticism and others contributed to the assault on teacher education in the 1990s (Kramer, 1991; Sowell, 1993; Hirsch, 1996), which even included a harsh attack from within by deans of university-based education schools (Holmes Group, 1995).

As assessment of public school effectiveness became increasingly tied to standardized test scores in the 21st century and a mandate for "highly qualified teachers" in the No Child Left Behind Act focused attention on the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement, the critique of teacher education sharpened its focus on value-added measures of student achievement. The question of which specific elements of teacher preparation produce the greatest student achievement gains became central. At the same time, a downturn in the economy resurrected educational crisis rhetoric of the early 1980s and an economic rationale for reforming teacher preparation began to appear in government reports and other policy documents on the subject--saving a nation at risk of losing its economic competitiveness.

Secretary of Education Rodney Paige (United States Department of Education, 2002) entered the fray with his first report to Congress on teacher quality, wherein he asserted, "there is little evidence that education school coursework leads to improved student achievement" (p. 19). According to Paige much of teacher education is unnecessary.

   The data show that many states mandate a shocking number of
   education courses to qualify for certification. … 

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

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Foundations and Multicultural Education Course Requirements in Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.