Multicultural Education in North Carolina: How is the State Preparing its Teachers to Change Education? The Case of East Carolina University


The state of public education is necessary to the extended discourse around international and intercultural education. Students’ experiences during the elementary and secondary years have important implications for their citizenship in a globally interactive world. The field of multicultural education specifically addresses how all students can be served more equitably, while increasing understanding of and appreciation of cultural diversity. As professionals who commit their work to the lives of students, teachers are primary players in any education reform. This capstone paper explores teacher education specifically in North Carolina through the case of East Carolina University’s teacher preparation program at of the beginning of 2007. I use eight key questions to guide my inquiry of how ECU’s teacher preparation program relates to multicultural education priorities. Through the method of case study, data has been collected from web documents, course syllabi and interviews.

This paper presents the major multicultural teacher education themes found in ECU’s program, and relates them to the current issues of public education in North Carolina. The state is experiencing one of the highest population growth rates in the country, and is facing a severe shortage of teachers over the next decade. The University reflects the high population growth seen in the state. This growth shows the potential for change in the College of Education’s overall priorities and ideology. Some data show there are increasing emphases on diversity issues and on field-based learning. Other data show there is increasing pressure to put more curricula online and to certify more teachers quicker. The findings can be applied specifically to ECU and to North Carolina education reform; they also relate to the relatively new discourse on multicultural teacher education theory and practice.


International and Comparative Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development

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