A majority of first-year educators surveyed for a report say their teacher-training programs did not prepare them adequately to teach ethnically diverse students and students with special needs.
While 76 percent of new teachers said that teaching ethnically diverse students was covered in their training, only 39 percent said that their training in that area helps them a lot in the classroom, says the report. It was released by the New York City-based Public Agenda and the Washington-based National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.
In addition, while 82 percent of new teachers said their training covered teaching students with special needs, only 47 percent said the training helps a lot in the classroom.
Overall, however, the new teachers appeared to feel confident about their training, with 42 percent saying they were very prepared and 38 percent saying they were somewhat prepared for their first year of teaching.
And 81 percent of new middle and high school teachers said they were always comfortable with their knowledge of the subjects they were teaching.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2008 edition of Education Week