Date of Award

5-1-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Abstract

This study examines whether or not student teachers are prepared to work with students from diverse populations. Teachers' perceptions of culture-related identities and their manifestations in the classroom are relevant to school achievement in students. Teachers understanding of students from various cultural backgrounds can provide a caring an supportive learning environment that will more than likely promote the students cultural identity and encourage high academic performance. However, teachers misunderstandings of and reactions to students' cultural behavior can lead to school and social failure.

A predominantly white college located in Atlanta, Georgia, provided the sample of 35 student teachers. Each participant completed a questionnaire regarding their prior understanding of diverse cultures prior to entering school. The questionnaire also discussed if the schools they are attending includes multicultural instruction and curriculum. The data collected via the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive, as well as a P-Test. The findings of this study showed that multicultural curriculum and instruction had no effect on teachers' perceptions when working with students form diverse culture backgrounds. Implications for measuring the variables are also discussed.

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