Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Helen Harper

Second Committee Member

Lori Olafson

Number of Pages



Participants in this study included seven preservice teachers (4 females, 3 males) enrolled in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at a major urban university in the U.S. Southwest completed a series of multiple in-depth interviews. The purpose of this study was to understand and explore the lived experiences and meaning preservice teachers made of their experiences in becoming multicultural people and teachers since taking introductory multicultural education coursework. Approaches and dimensions of multicultural education, theories of becoming multicultural, and research on teacher beliefs while learning to teach were used in conjunction with narrative inquiry to uncover and interpret participants' lived experiences. Participants understood becoming a multicultural person as having a clarified cultural identity and needing to have an open mind towards cultural diversity and "others." Each participant expressed beliefs consistent with the call and need for culturally responsive teachers, yet participants expressed the process of becoming a multicultural teacher as an "add-on" assignment that would be addressed outside of or after initial teacher training because of other priorities and responsibilities placed on them by their teacher preparation program. Participants described that their potential multicultural pedagogy would consist of content integration, human relations, single-group studies, and tourist approaches and dimensions to multicultural education. Participants affirmed that little follow-up to multicultural education theory and culturally responsive pedagogy were integrated and/or modeled across their teacher-training program beyond their required Introduction to Multicultural Education class. Conclusions in this study critiqued the limitations of understanding human relations approaches to multicultural education and being open minded towards cultural diversity as a form of becoming multicultural, a possible dys-praxis between multicultural education theory and practice in multicultural teacher education, the limited exposure preservice teachers have to multicultural education in teacher preparation programs, and the misrepresentation of multicultural education and multicultural teacher education as a de-politicized movement disconnected from its radical roots of a movement founded on principles of equity and social justice.


Becoming; Cultural Diversity; Cultural Diversity; Educators; Experience; Exploration; Multicultural; Preservice; Preservice Teachers; Teacher Preparation; Urban Education

Controlled Subject

Education, bilingual; Curriculum planning; Teachers--Training of

File Format


File Size

5396.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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