Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.acei.org
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Becoming multicultural has been defined as a process whereby an individual develops competencies of perceiving, evaluating, believing, and doing in multiple ways (Banks, 1988). Nieto (1996) argues that "becoming a multicultural teacher means first becoming a multicultural person. Without this transformation of themselves, any attempts at developing a multicultural perspective will be shallow and superficial." Multicultural development discourse is particularly relevant for 21st century educators. While the number of minority students in U.S. schools has increased to approximately 40 percent, minority teacher representation continues to decrease and is currently estimated at only nine percent (Torres, Santos, Peck, & Cortes, 2004). Limited representation in the nation's teaching force by minority educators is a problem in and of itself, and the demographics of the current majority compound the problem. This article addresses these questions: (1) How can teacher educators turn this defeating tide?; (2) How can they advance preservice teachers' ability to welcome and embrace diversity?; and (3) How can they provide the impetus and catalyst necessary to effectively alter the prevailing tone that is so destructive to so many children and families in schools today?