Portrait of preservice and experienced teachers' practical knowledge about diversity through case-based pedagogy
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this descriptive/interpretive qualitative case study is to understand and make sense of preservice and experienced teachers’ practical knowledge about diversity through case-based pedagogy. Six case studies were conducted using within and cross-case analysis of three preservice and three experienced teachers enrolled in elementary science courses at a university in the Southeastern United States. Data was collected during the fall semester, 2002 and was constantly compared and reduced using Kennedy’s categories for analyzing application of theory to cases - flexibility, connectedness, and perceived meaningfulness, together with that of Lundeberg and Fawver - perspective-taking. Banks’ dimensions of multicultural education - content integration, knowledge construction, prejudice reduction, equity pedagogy, and empowering school culture and social structure - were also used as a framework for analysis. Findings indicate that preservice and experienced teachers confirm or challenge their knowledge, beliefs, and teaching practice about diversity through case-based pedagogy. The participants enthusiastically evaluated case-based pedagogy as an interesting, vivid, and productive vehicle for in-depth reflections about diversity and multicultural education. In order to help preservice and experienced teachers confront their hidden knowledge and beliefs about diversity, the study provides suggestions for teacher education and professional development regarding diversity and case-based pedagogy. Considering that teachers are continuously evolving beings, this study is not an endpoint; rather it is situated in the midst of a continuing professional development process.