Thesis Title

Demographics and Diversity Between Teachers and Students: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Teaching Force

Graduation Date

Fall 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

Diversity among the student population in the United States has changed dramatically, but unfortunately, the ethnicities of the teachers are far less diverse. The need for more teachers of minority status becomes even more evident when we look at student enrollment patterns. Teachers play a significant role in the lives of their students. Research has shown that with the presence of a diverse teaching force, both minority and majority students will be provided with a balanced education, learning experience and social exposure.

The problem is not simply an educational problem, but rather a national problem, which requires the collaborative effort of school systems, policy makers, students, parents, legislators, educators, scholars and businesspersons. Students of color represent the majority of students in all but two of this country’s 25 largest school systems (Dee, 2004). Multicultural courses exist, but the isolated course is not the answer. Research indicates that even teachers who have had some multicultural course work were still unprepared to teach in classrooms where diversity was the rule. The review also suggests recommendations for recruiting and retaining teachers from diverse backgrounds.

We need a diverse teaching staff in our schools. The projected growth in the size and diversity of the student population and high attrition rate all contribute to this serious need for new teachers. The parallel concern is to ensure that the teaching profession reflects our national diversity, both of which are challenges that must be met.

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