What Should Preservice Teachers Know about Race and Diversity? Exploring a Critical Knowledge-Base for Teaching in 21st Century Canadian Classrooms
Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest that how teachers construct and interpret issues of race and diversity impacts significantly on their interactions with students from diverse backgrounds. At the same time, research shows that teacher education programs do not pay as much attention as would logically be expected given that many Canadian teachers will spend a good part of their career in racially and culturally heterogeneous settings. Conceptually grounded in critical race theory- a framework with increasing application in education, this paper explores the knowledge-base that preservice teachers require for successful teaching in a pluralistic society. A central argument in the paper is that a deep understanding of, and knowledge about race and diversity (beyond cursory familiarity) should be one of the required outcomes of preservice education.