Educating Teachers for Diversity in a Digital World: Engaging Teacher Candidates in Discussing Controversial Issues


Teacher candidates are sometimes ill-equipped/reluctant to discuss controversial social, political, racial, socio-economic, cultural, or religious issues. But as future teachers, they should be challenged to discuss controversial issues. Using on-line technology provides a safe space in engaging teacher candidates in discussing controversial issues. The goal of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is to ensure that educator preparation providers (EPPs) prepare future teachers who know the content of the subject(s) they will teach, know how to teach that content effectively to students from diverse groups… With the emphasis on diversity in teacher preparation, multicultural education plays an important role in preparing future teachers. But according to Villegas & Lucas (2002), a singular focus on the “what’s” of multicultural education without addressing the critical elements of organizational culture and climate may produce virtuous feelings but inconsequential and perfunctory results. This approach to multiculturalism assumes teacher candidates lack relevant knowledge and gives limited attention to other models of cross-cultural education (Irvine, 2003). The essence of a healthy democracy is open dialogue about issues of public concern (Harwood & Hahn, 2009). A multicultural education course provides an important platform in a teacher education program for addressing controversial issues. As future teachers, teacher candidates need to be equipped with the tools necessary to succeed in the modern world.


Ernest Oluwole Pratt
Associate Professor, Education, University of Mount Union, Ohio, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Learning in Higher Education


Pedagogy, Teacher Knowledge, Sociocultural Influences, Teaching

Digital Media