Teacher preparation in the Central Valley: what do pre-service single-subject teachers need to ensure equitable and excellent classrooms?

Educational equity is a major component to solving the achievement gap in public education. Prior research on educational equity has largely centered on the development of multicultural education and critical race theoretical approaches, with some studies considering how these theories are best incorporated into teacher preparation programs. However, few studies consider the perspectives of teacher educators within teacher preparation programs. The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of teacher educators at Central Valley University (CVU) regarding what pre-service teachers should know, be able to do, and have as a disposition to ensure equity and excellence in Central Valley classrooms. Six teacher educators, three instructors who teach within the teacher education program and three instructors who teach discipline methods courses were interviewed for this qualitative interpretivist study. Data collection included, semi-structured interviews, syllabi, and additional university and college documents. The constant comparative method was used for data analysis. Using Banks’ (2016) Four Approaches to Multicultural Curriculum Reform as the theoretical frame, with the addition of equity consciousness developed by Skrla et al. (2009) and McKenzie and Skrla (2011) the results of this study suggest that teacher educators preparing pre-service teachers at CVU seemed to demonstrate only a surface level perception of what is required to develop equity in the classroom.