Parallels and Contrasts between Cultural and Civic Competence: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century

By Jioanna Carjuzaa and Micki Sue Abercrombie.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The need for developing culturally as well as civically competent K-12 school teachers for an increasingly interdependent world compels teacher educators to utilize a multicultural education approach to teacher preparation which addresses educational inequities and social injustices. Teacher educators in the United States continue to struggle with the implications of globalization on their methods of teaching national, cultural, and civic identity. How best to prepare teachers in our pluralistic society to embrace diversity and integrate a multicultural education approach is often debated. In this article we describe our common goals, successful teaching strategies, and tested activities from years of involvement in teacher preparation programs and secondary classrooms. Using a dialogical model (Freire, 1970) we discuss and compare strategies we have used and activities crafted specifically for developing cultural and civic competence (Banks, 2004; Diller & Moule, 2005; Gay, 2000, NWREL, 2005) while including reflective comments and evaluating their effectiveness in addressing a variety of domains. The following selected categories frame our discussion of the strategies: 1) exploring self-identity, 2) preparing for citizenship 3) developing other awareness, 4) examining overt and covert biases, 5) uncovering social injustice and educational inequity, and 6) dismantling concepts such as entitlement, white privilege and institutionalized racism (Reyes & Carjuzaa, 2006). The results of our practices invite readers to consider alternative approaches to pre-service teacher preparation.

Keywords: Multicultural Education, Cultural Competence, Civic Competence, Teacher Preparation

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 567.240KB).

Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa

Associate Professor of Multicultural Education, Department of Education, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA

Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa is an Associate Professor of Education at Montana State University-Bozeman. She holds a Ph.D. in Multicultural, Social and Bilingual Foundations of Education from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has over seventeen years teaching experience as a multicultural teacher educator, diversity trainer, and English for Academic Purposes (ESP-Business) instructor. Multicultural education is her passion, professionally and personally. Jioanna’s research focuses on three main areas within a multicultural approach to teacher education: 1) developing innovative teaching strategies to prepare teacher candidates to become culturally competent, 2) designing best practices for regular classroom teachers who work with non-native English speakers in challenging content courses and need to integrate language and content instructional objectives, and 3) promoting culturally responsive pedagogy which meets content standards and highlights the contributions of Native Americans and other underrepresented groups in core disciplines. She has been promoting the Cradleboard Teaching Project Science through Native American Eyes multimedia program for several years. She is a teacher educator committed to preparing pre-service teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as integrate Indian Education for All locally and nationally. She served as a citizen ambassador for the People to People Multicultural Education Delegation to South Africa in October, 2006. This was her second People to People Ambassador’s Program; in 2004 she traveled to China on a very memorable adventure.

Micki Sue Abercrombie

Doctoral Student, Department of Education, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA

Micki Abercrombie is pursuing a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at the Montana State University-Bozeman. She has several years teaching experience in secondary classrooms as a social studies, U.S. History, government, and civics education teacher. She has also taught multiple sections of Social Studies methods for undergraduate and graduate pre-service elementary and secondary teachers. Micki’s research interests include the implications of critical race theory and the implementation of Indian Education for All in comprehensive education reform in Montana.


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