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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pre-service teachers’ conceptions of multiculturalism Jung, Carrie S. Y.


Teachers play an important role in implementing multicultural curricula. This role has been acknowledged by many writers, but none has systematically investigated teachers' conceptions of multiculturalism. The present study is an investigative research of pre-service teachers' conceptions of multiculturalism and the relationship between their background characteristics and their conceptions. A literature review identified five distinct conceptions of multiculturalism, distinct from one another in their views of nationhood, cultural preservation, group relations and the role of education. Using these conceptions as a framework, the researcher developed an instrument, consisting of five subscales, to measure conceptions of multiculturalism. The research instrument comprised 63 items on a four-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree), and eight questions concerning background variables such as age, sex, program of study and ancestry. The data analysis showed the instrument to be internally consistent. An exploratory factor analysis supported the distinctiveness of the conceptions identified by the researcher. Multiple univariate analyses showed that sex was a significant variable at p < .006 for four of the five subscales. One implication of this finding is that gender, that is, sex roles and socialization, may, in fact, influence how an individual conceptualizes multiculturalism.

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