Are Predominantly White Teachers Prepared to Teach Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students?

Research has shown that some White teachers are not fully prepared to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students. This is concerning, particularly because the majority (84%) of the teacher work force across the United States is White and the number of diverse students is growing rapidly. Because of the scant research on the preparedness of White in-service teachers, this research study focused on predominantly White in-service teachers in a largely White populated school, to determine if they feel prepared to teach to culturally and linguistically diverse students. The data analysis, of both qualitative and quantitative data, showed that the predominantly White participants (n=26) (73% self-identified as White) stated not being fully prepared to teach diverse students. Adding that their school/district was not providing the necessary professional development opportunities to assist in their progress to becoming prepared to teach to culturally and linguistically diverse students. To add, participants stated not being prepared in asking their school/district or allotting time for multicultural education/diversity training. Furthermore, the data showed a gap in the participants’ feelings of preparedness in teaching linguistically diverse students compared to culturally diverse students, demonstrating a bigger need for second-language development training for in-service teachers.