Exploring Attitudes and Competence to Teach Diverse Students

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  • Title: Exploring Attitudes and Competence to Teach Diverse Students: A Cross-cultural Study of Teacher Perceptions in Spain and the United States
  • Author(s): Maria Cristina Cardona, Shaila Rao, Esther Chiner, Randall Soffer
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Diversity in Education
  • Keywords: Student Diversity, Teacher Attitudes, Competence to Teach Diverse Students, Inclusive Education, Spain, US
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-0020 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2163 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0020/CGP/v17i04/19-38
  • Citation: Cardona, Maria Cristina, Shaila Rao, Esther Chiner, and Randall Soffer. 2018. "Exploring Attitudes and Competence to Teach Diverse Students: A Cross-cultural Study of Teacher Perceptions in Spain and the United States." The International Journal of Diversity in Education 17 (4): 19-38. doi:10.18848/2327-0020/CGP/v17i04/19-38.
  • Extent: 20 pages

Abstract

In spite of current international debates on issues of diversity, teachers’ attitudes and competence to teach diverse students have been studied to a limited extent comparatively. In this study 225 Spanish and US elementary and secondary teachers were surveyed. Overall, teachers’ attitudes toward student diversity in terms of culture, language, social class, religion, gender/sexual orientation, disability/special talent, academic achievement, and behavior were highly tolerant. No significant main effects by country were found, but elementary teachers had more positive attitudes than secondary teachers. Teachers’ ratings of overall self-competence to teach diverse students were more varied, however. The limitations and educational implications of these findings are discussed.