Thesis Title

Building Better Bridges: Toward More Effective Strategies for Promoting Teacher Diversity in California Secondary Social Science Classrooms at the Pre-Service Level

Graduation Date

Summer 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

The State of California’s teaching corps does not reflect nearly the same level of cultural diversity, as does the student body that it serves. Multiple sources of evidence suggest that the quality and outcomes of the learning experience are compromised for many of the students enrolled in California schools due to persistent and significant shortfalls in their levels of teacher diversity relative to that of their students. While efforts to recruit larger numbers of minority teacher candidates have produced, at best, mixed results overall, in the subject area of social science - where teacher diversity can be especially meaningful - only nominal gains have been realized. The reasons for this are not well explained by the existing scholarship on this topic. This review of the literature focuses largely upon identifying the challenges unique to the recruitment of “minority group” candidates into the social science teacher licensure process and offers some prescriptive strategies for how those challenges might be more effectively overcome in the future.

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