Interfacing Culture Specific Pedagogy with Counseling: A Proposed Diversity Training Model for Preparing Preservice Teachers for Diverse Learners.

As the 21st century begins amid high hopes and great expectations throughout the world, the decline of academic performance overall in P-12 schools, and the consistent underperformance of students of color and low income students continues to persist in the United States (Harrow, Mieses, Shopsin, & Taylor, 2000; Johnston, 2005; Roach, 2004; Simpson, & Schnitzer). The future welfare and the national security of our country depends not only on how well we educate our children, but also on how well we prepare teachers for working with racially and culturally diverse learners (Chew, 2003; Finn, 1989; Tanner, 1993; U.S. Department of Education, National Commission on Excellence in Education., 1983). All of this means the prevailing achievement gap among White students, students of color, and low-income students demands immediate action. Due to changing demographics in the K-12 student population contrasted with the homogeneous population of prospective teachers, the uncertainty about teacher preparedness to meet the needs of diverse student populations remains a controversial educational issue. Teacher educators have continued to question whether preservice teachers presently in schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDEs) have the requisite skills and the necessary sensitivity toward racial and cultural diversity to meet the challenges associated with effectively teaching culturally diverse students.

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