Preservice and inservice teachers’ ideas of multiculturalism: Explorations across two science methods courses in two different contexts

Felicia Moore Mensah, Julie C. Brown, Preethi Titu, Paula Rozowa, Ramya Sivaraj, Roya Heydari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this exploratory study, we use Banks’s typology on multicultural curriculum reform as 1 strategy for developing multicultural, culturally relevant science teachers. Banks’s typology discusses 4 approaches for integrating multicultural content into the school and university curriculum. In order to support the development of multicultural science teachers and multicultural science curricula, we were interested in knowing how preservice teachers (PSTs) and inservice teachers (ISTs) understand these ideas. We gathered comments across 2 different contexts: a graduate-level elementary science methods course in the northeastern United States and a graduate-level secondary science induction course in the Midwestern United States. Both groups participated in an interactive multicultural education PowerPoint lesson focused on culturally relevant teaching and Banks’s 4 approaches. The lesson was taught face to face in the 1st setting and via Skype in the 2nd setting by the same science teacher educator. Our primary data sources were responses to 3 prompts made by the PSTs and ISTs during the lesson. We analyzed all responses qualitatively using methods of constructivist grounded theory. Findings indicated that both PSTs and ISTs initially understood multicultural science education as connecting to students’ experiences and critiquing dominant cultures but rarely associated it with social action, the highest level of Banks’s typology. We discuss implications in terms of making explicit connections to multicultural approaches in science teacher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-147
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Science Teacher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Association for Science Teacher Education.


  • Culturally relevant teaching
  • Induction programs
  • Inservice teachers
  • Multicultural education
  • Preservice teachers
  • Science methods
  • Science teacher education curriculum


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