College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Foundation in Education

Department

College of Education, Department of Teacher Education

First Advisor

Amira Proweller, PhD

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kuzmic, PhD

Third Advisor

Andrea Kayne, JD

Abstract

Schools in the U.S. are currently experiencing a general teacher shortage, as well as a shortage of teachers of color. As the student population continues to diversify, the lack of diversity within the teacher workforce has a negative impact on students of color, both academically and socioemotionally. This thesis examines the role of university-based teacher education programs in preparing a more diverse and culturally sustaining teacher workforce. It uses the framework of critical race theory to examine primary and secondary literature relevant to this issue. Discourse analysis of a policy document addressing the role of teacher education programs in diversifying the teacher workforce is also conducted using the framework of critical race theory. This discourse analysis examines how the language used by the Department of Education relates to the sociopolitical and historical contexts of neoliberalism and teacher education. This thesis puts the role of teacher education programs in conversation with larger political forces which create and perpetuate the inequities associated with the lack of diversity of the teacher workforce nationally. It presents pedagogical and policy-based solutions within teacher education such as culturally sustaining pedagogies and more equitable accountability measures, and argues that broader support must be provided by policymakers in order to create significant and enduring change.

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