The disparity between the ethnic and cultural makeup of our teaching force and the ethnic and cultural makeup of the student population demands initiatives on the part of teacher preparation programs. Preservice teachers need to learn about the various cultures of their students in order to increase communication and understanding. As preservice teachers learn about and come to understand culturally diverse students, they move toward becoming culturally responsive teachers. Through the use of ethnic children’s literature and focused discussion in field experience seminars, preservice teachers increased their background knowledge about Latino children’s lives and began to make connections with the students themselves.
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