Teacher Preparation

New Teachers Look For Differentiation Help

September 10, 2008 1 min read

Many new teachers need help adjusting to the growing diversity of today’s public schools, according to a survey report from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and Public Agenda.

Most first-year educators feel well prepared in areas like direct instruction and classroom management, the report found, but say they were ill-equipped to deal with the ethnic and racial diversity and special learning needs of children in their classrooms.

While most teachers say they were trained in teaching an ethnically diverse student body, fewer than 4 in 10 say that their training helps them a lot in the classroom.

Was how to teach an ethnically diverse student body covered in your classroom?

BRIC ARCHIVE

How much did this training help?*

BRIC ARCHIVE

*Asked of those who said it was covered.
SOURCE: National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and Public Agenda.

Nor is it a matter of not having had any training in such areas. The report, based on interviews with 641 first-year teachers, found that although 76 percent had received instruction in teaching ethnically diverse students, only 39 percent said that the training significantly helped them in the classroom. Findings were similar for teaching special-needs children. Nearly 82 percent of the new teachers were taught to work with children with special-needs, but only 47 percent said the training helped “a lot.”

And while ethnic diversity is often associated with low-income urban schools, new teachers in high-needs schools (47 percent) were actually less likely to complain about inadequate diversity preparation than those (32 percent) in affluent communities.

Given a list of proposals to improve teacher quality, the teachers ranked two items significantly ahead of the others: reducing class sizes and training in adapting instruction to meet the needs of a diverse classroom.

—Rachel Gang

This chart shows regional changes in student race/ethnicity from 1986-2000.

BRIC ARCHIVE

SOURCE: The National Center for Education Statistics

Minority-Enrollment Growth

The percentage of racial/ethnic minority students in public schools grew from 22 percent in 1972 to 43 percent in 2006, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The change was primarily due to the increase in the proportion of Hispanic students.

A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 2008 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teacher Preparation Opinion Far Too Many Educators Aren’t Prepared to Teach Black and Brown Students
Teacher-prep programs can help address that inadequacy, writes Sharif El-Mekki.
5 min read
A group of multicolored people stand together looking in both directions
Ada DaSilva/DigitalVision Vectors<br/>
Teacher Preparation Teachers Can Take on Anti-Racist Teaching. But Not Alone
Teachers want to do better by their students of color, but many don’t know how. Madeline Will examines the gap between intention and action.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Teacher Preparation You Have Anti-Racist Curriculum Resources. Now What Do You Do?
Teachers need spaces to explore how power dynamics have shaped the subjects they teach, explains Sarah Schwartz.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Teacher Preparation We All Live Racialized Lives: The 'Identity Work' Teachers Need to Do
Understanding the Black experience also means seeing white privilege, writes education professor LaGarrett King.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Jamiel Law