Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Mathews, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ruth Meese, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peggy Tarpley, Ph.D.


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate teacher candidates' attitude and knowledge level toward the adequacy of their teacher training for meeting the needs of a diversified school population and to make recommendations for any restructuring in a University teacher training program. A survey research method using a convenience sample size of (N = 240) was used to collect data for this study. The sample of 240 participants included graduate and undergraduate teacher candidates who had completed student teaching and alumni from the last five years. A self-developed questionnaire with 35 Likert-type questions and four open-ended questions was used to collect data for this study. Eighty-three percent of the 240 surveys were scorable, leaving 200 scorable surveys.

One-way analysis of variance and Chi-square were used to analyze the relationship between attitude, knowledge, and several demographic and experiential variables such as ethnicity, clinical experience, level of education, and discipline of specialization. Additionally, the open-ended questions were analyzed using themes and inter-rater reliability. The hypotheses were tested using a significance level of .05. The results showed that although the overall attitudes of teacher candidates toward a diversified population was positive, they felt there was a need for additional training in order to successfully teach a school population made up of students from various ethnic, religious, and language backgrounds. The results of this study also clearly indicate there is a need to offer more courses that better prepare teacher candidates to effectively teach a population of students who come from increasingly diversified backgrounds.



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