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The Role of Minority Serving Institutions in Transforming Teacher Education and Diversifying the Teaching Profession: A Literature Review and Research Agenda


by Alice Ginsberg, Marybeth Gasman & Andrés Castro Samayoa - 2017

Background: Teacher education programs at Minority Serving Institutions – which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Native American and Tribal Colleges, Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, and Hispanic Serving Institutions – are an under-researched resource.

Purpose: Our aim is to provide a foundation and set an agenda for future research on teacher education within the Minority Serving Institution context.

Research Design: The first part of this paper reviews the literature on the relationship between minority student achievement and teacher education, with an emphasis on the contribution and role of minority teacher candidates. The second part of this paper sets the agenda for future research on the role of Minority Serving Institutions’ teacher education programs, including what we already know and seek to learn about their unique and innovative approaches to recruitment, pedagogical approaches and course content, mentoring, academic support and remediation, and pre-service teaching experiences.

Conclusion: Some questions addressed include: In what specific ways are MSIs reframing teaching as a viable and accessible option for minority students? What are MSIs doing with regard to early recruitment of promising minority teacher candidates? What kinds of mentoring and support strategies are they offering, and to what do they attribute high rates of teacher retention in their programs?




Teacher education is one of the most explicit and direct socialization mechanisms used to induct teachers into the profession. The degree to which that induction is consistent with ethnic minority students’ identity and their vision of schooling is often an important factor in whether the experience is facilitative or debilitative. (Quiocho & Rios, 2000, p. 498)


In 1998, former Education Secretary Richard Riley proposed that America launch a national campaign to recruit, prepare, and support high-quality teachers, with a particular focus on teachers of color. Riley proclaimed that “all boys and girls need role models that reflect the diversity of our country” and that “our teachers should look like America” (pp. 19–20). A decade later, in 2010, Education Secretary Arne Duncan echoed Riley’s concern when he said: “As a nation, we have far too few teachers of color. We have been far too reluctant to put the issue of race on the table” (n.p.). According to Duncan: “We have well-documented achievement gaps and opportunity gaps. But more importantly, we have a courage gap and an action gap” (Duncan, 2014, n.p.).


While it is widely recognized that bringing more minorities into the teaching profession will subsequently help to raise the achievement of all students, this “action gap” remains a powerful concern. To put it simply: our nation’s teachers still do not look like America. While students of color account for 54% of students in K–12 schools, many will graduate without having a single teacher of color. There are over 3,385,200 teachers in the nation’s public schools, but 82% are White, non-Hispanic. Hispanics (of all races) comprise approximately 8% of our nation’s teachers, while Blacks account for 6.8% of teachers. American Indians make up only 0.5%. The situation is even more serious for minority men, as African American male teachers constitute 1.5% of the teaching force in public schools, and minority men of all races/ethnicities make up only 4.29% of the teaching force, or roughly 142,000 public school teachers (U.S. Department of Education, 2012).


These findings are as powerful as they are plenty. Despite an increase in educational policies, grant-funded programs, national campaigns, networking sites, and advocacy organizations that are specifically designed to attract more minorities to the teaching profession, we must ask ourselves why our teaching force is still 82% White. One obvious answer is that recruitment efforts alone are not enough. As Boyer and Baptiste (1996) suggested two decades ago, we need more than a “bag of tricks” to attract more people of color into teaching. The authors called for a complete transformation in the way teacher educators think, as well as the way institutions of teacher education create policy, curricula, and assess teacher candidates. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (1996) concurred with Boyer and Baptiste, finding that “systems passively receive those who come to them rather than aggressively recruiting those who should apply, then they treat promising candidates with abandon, losing many along the way” (p. 34).


In other words, we must think about the problem holistically, paying attention to both recruitment strategies and also what happens to minority teacher candidates within institutions of higher education. We must seriously question whether the design of, content of, and support systems inherent in most teacher education programs at colleges of education are serving the needs and maintaining the interest and commitment of minority candidates. Contemporary research suggests that they are not. González (2006) calls our attention to that fact that the number of minority students who state their intention to become teachers during the first year of college does not pan out. He estimates that the number of freshman aspirants to teaching dwindles by as much as 50% before graduation.


Quiocho and Rios (2000) and Brooks et al. (2012) underscore that the structure and formal curriculum of many teacher education programs alienates minority candidates, endorsing generic teaching practices for serving diverse K–12 student populations and pressuring candidates to conform to traditional approaches to teaching and learning. According to Quiocho and Rios: “This becomes a source of conflict/tension and professional disappointment” (p. 517). Indeed, Gay (2005) warns that many current initiatives to increase the number of minorities in teaching, are, in reality, having the opposite effect. Poorly constructed teacher education programs that reduce quality teachers to test scores or silence contentious issues around racism and equity are, in fact, reducing the number of candidates of color in the pipeline (p. 225).


In order to address the wealth of reasons why we are losing minority teacher candidates, we believe that minority serving institutions (MSIs)1 should be at the center of teacher education research, as they are enduring, essential, and rich sources of knowledge about successful higher education for minority students in general, and, specifically, for teacher education candidates. MSIs include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander serving institutions (AANAPISIs). Some MSIs—such as HBCUs and TCUs—were founded explicitly to address systemic educational inequities and expand opportunities for students of color. Others are classified at MSIs because they have large concentrations of students from particular racial or ethnic groups. In addition to their cultural diversity, MSIs provide a supportive environment for first-generation and low-income college students. For example, MSIs are at the forefront of designing and offering summer bridge programs, tutoring and mentoring programs, and cohort groupings, and helping students identify and navigate financial aid. Finally, MSIs are community-oriented by building strong partnerships with community-based organizations, such as K–12 schools, health care centers, and business development programs.


Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, there were 106,580 bachelor’s degrees in education conferred in the United States. Of these, 11,289 were conferred by MSIs (14.5%). Of note, MSIs account for 51% of all education bachelor’s degrees conferred to Hispanics, almost half of education degrees for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (42.7%), nearly a third for Blacks and African Americans (30%), as well as a third for Asians (33%) (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015).


Many MSIs have also been at the forefront of preparing teachers to work with students who have been traditionally poorly served by the public school system. Indeed, many minority serving institutions—such as historically Black colleges and universities founded in the late 1800s—were founded for the express purpose of empowering minority communities by providing otherwise inaccessible education opportunities and resources (Gasman, 2007; Gasman, Baez, & Turner, 2008). Given their social justice missions at their origins or missions that have formed and are still forming since, many MSIs go beyond superficial theories of diversity and seek to underscore systemic causes as to why minority students are deemed “at-risk” for disengaging and dropping out of school, poor testing performance, and discipline problems (Conrad & Gasman, 2015; Nunez, Hurtado, & Galdeano, 2015). MSIs likewise prepare their teacher candidates to serve as advocates for equity, challenging vastly disproportionate funding and facilities, high teacher turnover, and culturally biased curricula and testing.


Moreover, partnerships between MSI leadership and their local communities are a hallmark of their institutional ethos (Conrad & Gasman, 2015). MSIs have sought to identify promising students as early as possible, offering programs designed to spark the interest of high school students in the surrounding communities and provide them with the necessary supports for them to succeed in higher education and pursue careers in teaching. According to Brooks et al. (2012): “The foundation of teacher education programs at institutions of color is already grounded in community engagement and cultural values. Due to these institutions’ community responsiveness and mission, their teacher education programs have historically infused those elements into classroom instruction and field experiences” (p. 350).


This engagement and responsiveness is growing all the time as MSI schools of education are expanding and experimenting with new programs, collaborations, enticements, and support systems designed to bring more minorities into teaching. Targeting committed and talented high school students, making higher-education tuition affordable, connecting formal pathways between 2- and 4-year colleges, expanding opportunities for part-time and working students, helping with the costs and preparation for qualifying examinations, providing mentoring, offering cohort programs, increasing clinical (student teaching) requirements in high-needs and culturally diverse schools, and offering advanced level courses on race and ethnicity are all ways in which MSIs are changing the landscape of teacher education. As Brooks et al. (2012) underscore: “In view of the limitations of current teacher education in PWIs [predominantly white institutions], it is critical to attend to what the institutions of color have achieved and to explore their untapped resources for leading multicultural teacher education reforms” (p. 357).


That said, very little rigorous, qualitative, and cross-institutional research exists on the impact, or potential impact, of MSIs on continuing to expand the pool of qualified and committed minority teachers. The most recent comprehensive report on the topic, titled Educating the Emerging Majority: The Role of Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities in Confronting America’s Teacher Crisis, underscores that “the success of teacher education programs at MSIs in producing well-trained teachers of color is evidenced not only in the numbers of teachers produced, but also in the unique and innovative approaches used to train teachers who can education the nation’s growing minority population” (Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, 2000, p. 3). The report includes institutional profiles of successful teacher education programs at six diverse MSIs, highlighting a range of innovative retention policies. Among other recommendations, the report calls for: 1) an increase in targeted federal resources to MSIs in order to improve the participation and success of students of color in their teacher education programs; 2) the development of partnerships among institutions that serve large numbers of students of color; and 3) a national study to identify the factors that lead to changes in enrollment among minorities in teacher education programs.


Although the first and second of these recommendations are slowly being addressed, no such national study of MSI teacher education programs exists. Unfortunately, most MSI teacher education programs continue to fall under the radar. There is still much we do not know, and, in conjunction with our overarching work, we attempt here to set a research agenda for studying how MSIs can both diversify the teaching force and serve as model programs for transforming teacher education at majority institutions.


The first part of this paper will briefly review the literature on the relationship between minority student achievement and teacher education, with a particular emphasis on the contribution and role of minority teacher candidates.2 This literature helps us to understand the value of diversifying the teaching force, as well as what factors bring minorities into teaching and what drive them out. Several important questions for consideration include: What does current research tell us about the “achievement gap” between poor/minority and middle-class/majority students, and what are teacher education programs doing to better prepare teachers to address gaps? What do studies tell us about the potential and measurable impact of having more minority teachers in the classroom? In addition to serving as role models for both minority and majority students, what specific/unique resources and attributes do minority teachers bring to teaching? Likewise, what do studies tell us about the actual experiences of minority teachers enrolled in U.S. teacher education programs, specifically regarding issues of recruitment and retention? What factors—personal, institutional, and economic—have been shown to mitigate their success?


The second part of this paper sets the agenda for future research on the role of MSI teacher education programs, including what we already know and seek to learn about their unique and innovative approaches to recruitment, pedagogical approaches and course content, mentoring, academic support and remediation, and preservice teaching experiences. Moreover, we consider what can we learn from MSIs about building school–community partnerships and placing committed minority teachers in high-needs and hard-to-staff schools. Some questions to be addressed include: In what specific ways are MSIs reframing teaching as a viable and accessible option for minority students? What are MSIs doing with regard to early recruitment of promising minority teacher candidates? What kinds of mentoring and support strategies are they offering, and to what do they attribute high rates of teacher retention in their programs? Likewise, how, specifically, are they addressing identified hurdles such as underpreparation for high-stakes qualifying exams, lack of relevant, culturally diverse coursework, and limited opportunities for clinical practice and student teaching in minority communities?


At this time, we offer “snapshots” of what different MSIs are doing (or trying to do) based on self-reported data (e.g., websites, press releases, contributions to scholarly journals, conference presentations). However, this paper will highlight the work of two MSIs that we have researched and partnered with more extensively—California State University, Fresno (HSI/AANAPISI) and New Mexico State University (HSI)—as examples of the kind of data we hope to collect in the near future. In short, it is hoped that this paper will serve as an agenda and catalyst for more systemic and comprehensive research.


Thus, the third and final part of the paper lays out recommendations as well as questions for future research, such as: How can MSIs replicate what they are doing on a larger scale, maintain these innovations, and attract the necessary funding and policy support to do so? How can MSIs challenge the notion that minority teachers are not the most highly qualified teachers or are effective only with minority students? Given new challenges presented in implementing the Common Core, how can MSIs play a leadership role in preparing teachers to meet these new state standards in culturally relevant ways?


THE LINK BETWEEN MINORITY TEACHERS AND MINORITY STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: WHO IS “AT-RISK” AND WHY?


America’s educational achievement has long been tied to its economic prosperity and global competitiveness, making it a primary concern of educators, policymakers, politicians, and employers. Dating back to the highly publicized report A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), we were warned that, among other things, America would lose its economic edge if it did not improve public education. The authors note: “What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur—others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.” Under “Indicators of Risk,” the Commission specifically noted that “functional illiteracy among minority youth may run as high as 40 percent” (n.p.). While the report did not dwell on racial disparities, the risk that minority underachievers were largely responsible for decreasing our national competitiveness was seminal. As Ladson-Billings notes, the “at-risk” label was first applied to the entire nation; yet, within a short period of time, it became synonymous with being a person of color (2009).


Over 30 years later, governmental initiatives that intended to have an impact on all 50 states, such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, have underscored continued widespread concern that the American education system is lagging far behind other countries. For example, despite the fact that the percentage of young people (18–34) expected to enter tertiary education academic programs during their lifetimes in the United States is relatively high compared to other OECD countries (71.2%), there is a sizable drop in the probability that they will actually graduate from these programs, leaving the United States in 18th place (out of 27) among OECD and partner countries with available data (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2015).


In his 2009 State of the Union Address, President Obama put education front and center: “To win the future…we also need to win the race to educate our kids” (n.p.).


While President Obama is talking about increasing educational achievement for all students, as Ladson-Billings suggests, low-income and minority students continue to be singled out by scholars, educators, policymakers, and the media as particularly “at-risk.” Educators, policymakers, and researchers point to the fact these students are significantly more likely to begin school with less “readiness” for learning (e.g., lacking an understanding of cultural and behavior expectations, basic academic skills, investment in the educational process, and an ability to stay focused and complete assignments). Many minority, especially immigrant, students also arrive at school with language barriers that prevent them from fully understanding and participating in school (Au & Blake, 2003; Fitts, Winstead, Weisman, Flores, & Valenciana, 2008; Foster, 1997; O. Garcia, Woodley, Flores, & Chu, 2013; Gay, 2002; Howard, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 2009; Milner, 2012; Noguera, 2003; Oakes, 2005; Quiocho & Rios, 2000; Villegas & Irvine, 2010).


The result is that minority students are more likely to be tracked into special education classes and/or retained in their grade (Oakes, 2005), or to be the subject of greater levels of surveillance and harsher discipline including suspension and expulsion (Ginsberg, 2012; Goodman, 2013; Robbins, 2008). As the American Civil Liberties Union posits: “schools may actually encourage dropouts in response to pressures from test-based accountability regimes…which create incentives to push out low performing students to boost overall test scores” (2015, n.p.) It is now common to refer to the “school-to-prison pipeline” where poor and minority students are effectively pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system (Noguera, 2009).  


THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: ACHIEVEMENT GAP OR OPPORTUNITY GAP?


While there is no question that poor and minority students do face much greater obstacles to academic success and economic independence, scholars have questioned how many of these problems are centered within the individual child (and/or the culture, family, and community in which they reside). Instead it is suggested that the achievement gap is more of an opportunity gap which can be attributed to a vastly inequitable school system that provides minority students with crowded and unhealthy learning environments, fewer material resources, limited access to technology, fewer and less-prepared teachers and support staff, a culturally biased curriculum, and lower expectations for success (Carter & Welner, 2013; Ladson-Billings, 2011; Milner, 2012; Petrovich & Wells, 2005; Ravitch, 2013; Scott, 2003).


This opportunity gap extends beyond the school itself, as what happens outside of the classroom is an equally important variable in minority student school success. Poor and minority students are less likely to have access to technology outside of school, economic access to private tutoring, and opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities, which are often all but nonexistent in their school and community budgets. Low-income and minority students are also more likely to burdened by the added responsibilities of working to support their families and providing childcare for younger siblings, which reduce the amount of time they have to study and do homework.


Additionally, while some educators and policymakers have gone as far as to claim that minority cultures do not value education or that minority parents are not involved in their children’s lives, studies have documented the ways in which schools and teachers may distance or alienate minority parents by, for example, holding important meetings with non-English speaking parents without a translator present or scheduling meetings at times when working parents cannot attend or find transportation. Yet these kinds of practical barriers are too often minimized or discounted. Minority parents, like minority cultures themselves, are too often viewed as part of the problem, rather than the solution (Amatea, Cholewa, & Mixon, 2012; Diamond & Gomez, 2004; Jeynes, 2003; Lareau, 2000).


Seeing only the “lack” of resources in a disadvantaged community, in turn, leads many schools and teachers to take a “missionary approach” to education, wherein they attempt to assimilate minority cultures into majority cultures, didactically teaching them skills and codes of proper (e.g., compliant) behavior, while ignoring students’ own strengths, capacity for critical thinking, and funds of knowledge (N. González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005). Although schools of education are beginning to explore asset approaches to cultural diversity, traditional deficit methods of teaching minority children—which can center on harsh discipline, shaming, and isolation—remain prevalent (Ginsberg, 2012; Goodman, 2013; Noguera, 2009; Ravitch, 2013).


TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO MULTICULTURAL TEACHER EDUCATION VS. CULTURALLY RELEVANT PEDAGOGY AND CRITICAL RACE THEORY


In the past two decades most colleges of education have at least attempted to design a more multicultural curriculum for teacher education. Increased emphasis on cultural diversity has grown from the express intent of preparing teachers to be effective in schools largely comprised of low-income and minority students. And yet, while some of these teacher preparation programs have begun to pay more attention to multiple intelligences and the use of culturally relevant pedagogies, these initiatives are often offset by the traditional ways in which diversity courses are still taught. Teaching multicultural education is still heavily weighted toward an “add-and-stir” or “heroes and holidays” approach, which does not address ongoing and complicated issues of systemic inequality, racism, and White privilege, or acknowledge the agency of minority communities and organized movements for social justice and social change (Ball & Tyson, 2011; Gorski, 2009; Grant & Gibson, 2011).


Most commonly, diversity in teacher preparation programs tends toward two approaches: 1) a single course requirement that lumps all nondominant cultures together and/or 2) an elective or special theme which can treat individual cultures in shallow and stereotypical ways. Indeed, the same year that Duncan urged us to “put the issue of race on the table,” Akiba, Cockrell, Simmons, Han, & Agarwal (2010) conducted a study of all 50 states’ standards for teacher preparation and diversity coursework. Drawing upon an earlier study conducted in 2000 that found that only 15 states required multicultural education coursework or experiences for teacher certification, the authors decided to look beyond numbers of courses. Through a content analysis of the courses themselves, Akiba et al. concluded that while most states’ requirements now included language about “diversity,” the majority of classes had a “human relations approach” with ambiguous goals such as sensitivity to the history and culture of others.


More recent scholarship has confirmed that even though the numbers of multicultural courses in teacher education programs may have increased, the foundational approach has not fundamentally changed (Banks & Banks, 2004; Gay, 2005; Sleeter, 2001. As Nieto and McDonough (2011) posit: “Focusing on diversity and multiculturalism without attending to issues of power, racism, and whiteness only serves to reproduce systemic inequities under the guise of multicultural education” (p. 371). Moreover, it should be noted that many schools of education do not have a diverse or knowledgeable faculty to teach these courses, as the faculty themselves are primarily White middle-class with limited experience living/working in diverse cultures. In both cases, there is a danger that, while focusing on diversity, these courses never end up addressing the roots of structural inequalities and may rely heavily on a deficit or assimilationist stance toward minority cultures. Grant and Gibson (2011) warn: “One of the dangers in teaching about culture is that it becomes something that belongs to ‘others’ while whiteness is seen as ‘just normal’” (p. 31).


Likewise, a multicultural curriculum that includes only Black history continues to marginalize other minorities, whose school population is growing rapidly. The education of immigrant and second-generation students, in particular, has proven to be a highly contentious issue that many schools continue to silence (Cammarota, 2011 O. Garcia et al., 2013; S. B. Garcia, Wilkinson, & Alba, 1995). Courses on cultural diversity must also address issues of intercultural prejudice, such as the fact that Black Muslim students are often treated differently within the African American community, and gay males are prone to teasing, violence and marginalization, even within their own racial and ethnic groups. Diversity courses need to pay much closer attention to the specific contexts in which race and racism become more or less relevant.


An alternative approach has been offered in the growing field of critical race theory (CRT) and cultural relevant pedagogy (Gay, 2000; Gay & Kirkland, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 2009; Villegas & Irvine, 2010). CRT, in particular, has significantly complicated and advanced initial definitions and goals of multicultural education. Rather than seeing cultural diversity primarily as a human relations issue (e.g., teaching children to respect “other” cultures), or even as an issue of curriculum development (adding more minority experiences to textbooks and lectures), CRT contends we cannot improve education for minority and underserved students until we address the systemic and intersecting causes of inequity. Building on Omi and Winant’s framework that “race is a matter of both social structure and cultural representation” (1994, p. 9), critical theorists such as Gloria Ladson-Billings (2009) have underscored the need to look more critically at the intersection of human rights and property rights in understanding the persistent underachievement of minority students in American public schools.


CRT also challenges White privilege by refuting “claims that educational institutions make toward objectivity, meritocracy, colorblindness, race neutrality and equal opportunity” (Yosso, 2005, p. 73). While simultaneously recognizing that American education is a fundamentally unjust system, critical race theorists have rejected “deficit” models of teaching minority students, suggesting instead that all students come to school with some form of cultural capital or community wealth—even if it is in forms that are not traditionally recognized by majority stakeholders. Yosso, for example, has identified less acknowledged forms of student knowledge and academic strength, stemming from what she calls “navigational capital” (in which students are able to enter and successfully navigate social institutions not easily accessible to communities of color) and “linguistic capital” (which includes the intellectual and social skills attained through communication experiences in more than one language), among others.


As two of the primary proponents of this approach, Villegas and Irvine (2010) stress that “To be effective, teachers must…help students to build connections between what is already familiar to them, from their experiences inside and outside school, and the new content and skills to be learned” (p. 178). After conducting an ethnographic analysis of Tucson’s Latino community, N. González et al. (2005), for example, found that schools neglected to incorporate students’ abundant knowledge about agriculture and mining, economics, science, medicine, and religion into the curriculum. According to González et. al.  (2005), these kinds of overlooked and undervalued critical connections between community and cultural knowledge and the academic curriculum result in missed important opportunities to fully engage students, and to provide them with opportunities to actively apply new knowledge in meaningful ways.


This process pays close attention not only to subject matter, but also to communication styles, representation, voice, and agency. Figlio (2005) found that teachers treat students differently based on their “unusual names,” many of which signify African American cultural preferences, and Hollins (2008) calls attention to the way that dress codes are often enforced that eliminate certain ethnic attire. Quiocho and Rios (2000) likewise underscore that this extends to what is accepted as appropriate school-based behavior, what is accepted as valued ways of talk, and how we assess what students know. Irving and Hudley (2008), for example, found that both verbal and nonverbal “cues” between White teachers and African American students are often misinterpreted in such a way that teachers think students are being insubordinate, when they are simply asking a question or voicing an opinion. Many of these practices go unacknowledged, however, as schools strive for color-blindness and emphasize a working meritocracy. Nieto and McDonough (2011) have suggested that “seemingly, to acknowledge race is to name a deficit, something unwanted or unpleasant. In reality, what some white teachers have not yet come to understand is that the problem is not race; the problem is racism” (p. 370).   


This does not mean that schools refrain from teaching basic skills, fostering common core knowledge, and preparing students for standardized testing. Culturally relevant pedagogy is a form of cultural scaffolding (Gay, 2005), a process where teachers use students’ own cultures and experiences to pique their interest, and then, eventually, to broaden their worldviews and horizons. Many non-Western cultures, for example, emphasize group cooperation, approach time as relative, and engage in holistic thinking (Becket, 1998). When studying a Native Hawaiian teacher, Au (1980) found that Native Hawaiian students responded positively and were more engaged when they were exposed to reading lessons that resembled “talk story” commonly found in their culture. In her studies of Latino culture, Nieto (2000) also emphasized the importance of creating classrooms built on seminal values of “trust” and “family” in which student-teacher relationships are central to student success. As proponents of culturally relevant pedagogy suggest, if students are treated competently, they will ultimately demonstrate high degrees of competence. The questions become then: How do we adequately prepare future teachers to work in culturally diverse or heterogeneous schools, and to treat all students as competent and capable learners? Do minority teachers arrive at this challenge with a special advantage?


WHAT DO MINORITY TEACHERS BRING TO THE TABLE?


Although all teachers can, and should, benefit from a more nuanced understanding of multicultural education and minority student achievement, teachers from culturally diverse backgrounds may have a competitive edge working with minority students. For example, studies have shown that minority teachers—especially those who have themselves experienced racism in education—are more likely to challenge racial stereotypes, encourage student engagement and agency, and have overall higher expectations for minority students. Likewise, minority teachers who share their students’ racial identity or linguistic backgrounds are generally more successful at building caring and trusting relationships with minority students, often serving as advocates or “cultural brokers” by questioning rules and regulations that are unfair or disrespectful (Villegas & Irvine, 2010). Many studies have also focused on the role that minority teachers, especially those who are bilingual or who come from the communities in which they now teach, can serve in improving communication and engagement with parents. It has been found that minority teachers, due to their familiarity with minority cultures, can build critically important bridges between schools and the communities that surround them (Au & Blake, 2003; Banks & Banks, 2004; Cochran-Smith, 2003; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Irvine, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 1999; Nieto, 2000; Noguera, 2009; Perry, Steele, & Hilliard, 2003; Villegas & Irvine, 2010).


The need for more minority teachers in K–12 education, then, is more than just one of demographic balance. While it is certainly true, as Riley suggests, that our teachers should “look like America,” the argument for diversifying the teaching force must go beyond a need for role models. Some researchers suggest that minority teachers have a stronger commitment to remain both in teaching and teaching in high-needs schools, as part of a larger commitment to promoting social justice for minority students. In their review of research studies about African American teachers, for example, Roberts and Carter Andrews (2013) found that even though they were grossly underrepresented in the U.S. teaching force, African American teachers were more likely to choose to work and remain in schools with large populations of students of color and students from impoverished backgrounds. These teachers have been willing to forgo a higher salary and easier working conditions, motivated by their commitment and desire in becoming change agents against social inequality and oppression. Indeed, numerous case studies of minority teachers have identified that a primary reason they chose teaching was to serve as “transformative agents” for students of color, and to “give something back to their community” (Brown, 2014; Kauchak & Burbank, 2003; Ochoa, 2007). That said, too many minority and low-income schools continue to have tremendous teacher turnover and instability in leadership, which unquestionably contributes to lower levels of student engagement and achievement.


THE LACK OF MINORITIES IN TEACHER EDUCATION: WHAT IS WRONG?


Sadly, this commitment to teaching and to being agents of social change in high-needs communities is too often thwarted in minority teacher candidates, for a variety of well-documented reasons. On a most practical level, the very design of many college and university-based teacher education programs inhibits working-class and first-generation students (more likely to be minorities) due to inadequate college counseling at the high school level, untenable costs of higher education, the limited number of courses offered during nonworking hours, decreased access to technology, and the lack of remedial support/mentoring services needed to help compensate for students’ own frequently low-grade schooling experiences (Lewis, 2006; Petchauer, 2014)


These problems attracting and retaining minority candidates can, in fact, be traced back to the recruitment process itself. Colleges of education are currently under significant pressure from educational funders and policymakers to help their teacher preparation programs gain greater legitimacy and status by being more academically selective. As Ladson-Billings posits: “Unfortunately, academic selectivity for a profession of low prestige and even lower reward does not allow for much flexibility in the case of admissions” (2009, p. 224). Thus, those same prospective minority candidates who were shortchanged in their own educations are again chastised, overlooked, and shut out by gatekeepers who value academic selectivity over a strong commitment to teaching and social justice issues in education. For example, due to lack of practice and confidence, many minority teacher candidates have also struggled to excel on high-stakes entrance exams, which end up “selecting them out” of teaching rather than inviting them in (Petchauer, 2014).


It has also been noted that many minorities who do attend higher education have chosen not to go into the teaching profession as broader opportunities become available to them, and as teaching continues to be a low-paid, low-status occupation. Such barriers are complicated by recurring reports of isolation and racist attitudes of other teachers in the workplace, coupled with unfair promotion and compensation practices, which further contribute to the failure to both attract more minority teacher candidates (Brown, 2014; Gomez, Rodriguez, & Agosto, 2008; Guyton, Saxton & Wesche, 1996; Sheets & Chew, 2002). Quiocho and Rios (2000) underscore that “an added tension is that many minority group teachers are likely to feel alienated from their colleagues (both teachers and administrators), who often avoid discussing issues of race and schooling” (p. 509). Ironically, the same commitments and convictions that attract many minorities into teaching (e.g., racial equity), are used against them. Brown (2014) warns against teachers of color being valued only as role models minority students, rather than as potentially effective teachers and pedagogues for all students.


Thus, even if we are successful in bringing more minorities into teacher education programs, this success will continually be undermined if teacher education programs treat multicultural education, and minority teacher candidates, in limited and superficial ways, and continue to deny them the support systems and opportunities that will enable them to succeed. In short, we need to move beyond a “bag of tricks” method of recruiting minority teachers toward strategies that will completely transform teacher education for all teachers. Gay (2005) pulls no punches when she underscores that teacher education programs will not achieve social justice for minority students based on the diligence of individuals. Systemic changes must occur at every level of the institution. Au and Blake (2003) concur, and strongly suggest that these changes must be based on case studies and concrete evidence: “Further research is needed to guide the development of new teacher-education programs specifically designed to address the needs of candidates of diverse backgrounds” (p. 202).


MSIs, which have always been rooted in the needs of minority communities, can serve as the basis for much of the research. MSI schools of education have already pioneered new ways of recruiting, retaining, preparing, and providing ongoing professional development, which we will now explore in more detail.


TRANSFORMING TEACHER EDUCATION AT THE INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL: THE ROLE OF MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTIONS


MSIs are diverse in nature and history; some are the product of historical racism or activism, while others are the result of demographic changes. Regardless of history, many MSIs have a firm commitment to their communities and have contributed substantially to the production of teachers in their local communities. HBCUs were founded to help train African American teachers and, before desegregation, accounted for almost all teachers in African American schools. Likewise, very few Native American teachers existed prior to the founding of TCUs in the 1970s, as students living on reservations were forced into boarding schools. HSIs, especially those with high percentages of Latinos, have close relationships with local school districts and are working to ensure teacher education programs communicate regularly with local schools (Conrad & Gasman, 2015).


MSIs, overall, account for a small percentage of all teachers in public schools in the nation. Yet, in a landscape with such a stark underrepresentation of people of color, it is crucial to realize that MSIs account for a disproportionate number of teachers of color. For example, 48% of Hispanic (all races) teachers at public schools have a BA from an MSI. Though this only accounts for 3.74% of all teachers in public schools (~126,750 teachers), these data suggest that Hispanics are hailing from MSIs and that investing in MSIs and giving them greater visibility to support efforts to diversify the teaching profession is crucial. Furthermore, Black men account for 1.51% of all teachers nationally (~51,000 teachers). Yet, 34.9% of these teachers received their BA from an MSI (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012).


As noted in Educating the Emerging Majority (Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, 2000): “The fact that MSIs, facing chronic underfunding and financial insecurity, produce a substantial proportion of teachers of color to serve as role models in high-poverty and educational disadvantaged communities continues to be ignored.” The authors also assert that “the success of teacher education programs at MSIs in producing well-trained teachers of color is evidenced not only in the number of teachers of produced, but also in the unique and innovative approaches used to train teachers who can educate the nation’s growing minority population” (p. 3). In the second part of this paper, we seek to identify some of these unique and innovative approaches, and consider why MSIs have been able to have such a relatively huge impact on the numbers of minority teachers given their small size and endowments. Following are some common attributes of teacher education programs at MSIs that can serve as the basis for future research on recruiting and retain minority teacher candidates and support practicing teachers. Again, these are examples of different strategies that will benefit greatly from a more comprehensive and nuanced research agenda.


MSIs use proactive recruitment strategies, reaching out to minorities while they are still in high school, looking beyond base tests scores and GPAs to identify dynamic, promising, and committed students who could be high achievers with additional academic supports and encouragement.


Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (an HBCU), for example, offers a minority teacher conference for high school students each spring as a way of identifying and preparing students interested in teaching as early as possible for higher education. Incoming students are then formally assessed before entering the teacher education program to target tutoring and mentoring opportunities that will help them meet state standards, tests, and other certification requirements. The University of New Mexico (an HSI) has developed Zuni: Engaging Teachers and Community (ZETEC), a college-bound pipeline with the local Zuni tribe, enabling Zuni high school students to tour the University of New Mexico’s main campus, meet with faculty and identify support services, such as the American Indian Student Services. According to the program coordinator, Professor Marjori Krebs, one of the major goals of this initiative “is to recruit students from Zuni to come to UNM to become teachers, and then return to Zuni to teach students there.” UNM believes that “providing opportunities for students from Zuni to visit the campus and to learn from all the opportunities available at the UNM, enables them to see their dreams unfold” (Carr, 2014). The University of Houston (an HSI and AANAPISI) is currently piloting Teach Forward Houston, in which 100 candidates will be picked from highly motivated Houston Independent School District (HISD) seniors to receive reduced tuition and expanded residency experience, among many other incentives to become teachers in minority and high-needs schools. As a partnership program with the HISD, upon graduation and completion of the Teach Forward Houston program, students are guaranteed a teaching position in HISD. Moreover, given that the first 2 years of teaching are often the most critical for new teachers, Teach Forward Houston will provide its graduates with coaching and mentoring during their first 2 years, and fellows will be eligible for additional professional development opportunities in their 3rd and 4th years of teaching.


MSIs engage in a range of retention strategies which have proven to be especially necessary and effective for poor and first-generation college students, including: personal mentoring and intrusive counseling, greater access to financial aid and childcare, more flexible scheduling of classes, cohort models, and structured help passing high-stakes testing.


Los Angeles Southwest College, for example, has created the Urban Teacher Fellowship, a career pathway into credentialed teaching that includes part-time employment in afterschool programs. The program was specifically designed to address barriers to teaching careers faced by low-income, at-risk youth. After students are selected to participate in the program, they are provided with support services such as tutoring, transportation, childcare, and job placement assistance. Those students who complete their associate’s degree at Southwest are also given assistance transferring to California State University, Los Angeles, where they can complete their bachelor’s degree and single or multiple subject teaching credential.


University of Texas–Pan American (an HSI) is not only attempting to offer day care to its students, but also to situate the day care center as part of an early childhood research and development center, which would serve the needs of children, parents, and aspiring teachers. Coppin State University (an HBCU) established the James E. McDonald Child Development Center in 2013, offering prekindergarten programs and drop-in childcare services for staff, students, and families in the surrounding area.


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at North Carolina A&T State University (an HBCU) continues to refine a preparatory model that assists precandidates with their performance on high-stakes entry tests. The model addresses precandidates’ academic preparedness, subject matter content knowledge, and testwiseness—the ability to navigate and negotiate a test within a specific time—while concurrently addressing psychological factors like test anxiety. Likewise, the School of Education at Norfolk State University (an HBCU), has established a Teacher PREP Student Support Services Program where students benefit from tutorial, study skills, and test-taking activities. Both Miami Dade College (an HSI) and Jackson State University (an HBCU)—have developed free workshops and review sessions to help students prepare for state and national certification exams. At Sitting Bull College (a TCU) students take the PRAXIS test at the beginning of their junior year to help faculty target areas where students might need additional coursework or require extra tutoring. When they graduate, students retake the test in the specific areas in which they had difficulty. As an added incentive, Florida A&M University (an HBCU) reimburses teacher education candidates who pass the General Knowledge Test on their first attempt.


MSIs are experimenting with fast-tracking programs and building partnerships and pathways between 2- and 4-year teacher education programs, easing the transition for students and making a teaching degree more affordable to low-income students.


In North Dakota, Sitting Bull College (a 2-year TCU) created a formal agreement with Sinte Gleska University (a 4-year institution) in South Dakota so that students can easily move from one program to the other without repeating any courses. This partnership addresses concerns that its graduates often dropped out of their pursuit of teaching because of the difficulty of transferring credits and commuting to a 4-year institution to complete their degree and certification. California State University, Long Beach (an HSI and AANAPISI), has similarly created a similar “pathways” program called the Urban Teacher Fellows program. Designed to assist students at the 2-year community college to attend a 4-year university, the program allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and their multiple subject teaching credential at the same time. Another branch of California State University, Bakersfield (an HSI), has implemented a “fast-tracking” program called the B-BEST program, which allows freshmen who commit to becoming elementary and middle school teachers to finish the educational program in only 4 years instead of the usual 4.5–5 years. North Carolina A&T State University has created the 2+2 Transfer Program, which provides a seamless transition for community college students who have earned an associate’s degree to complete their Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.


MSIs have close and reciprocal relationships with local school districts and the larger surrounding communities in which they are embedded, providing richer and more accessible opportunities for clinical practice and student teaching. In addition, some MSIs have created their own “lab” schools on campus, or have created satellite campuses in schools, with embedded faculty on site.


In 1998, New Mexico State University began moving sections of its elementary teaching preparation program to actual local elementary schools. Originally called Project MOVEMOS (MOVing Elementary Methods OnSite), this ever-expanding program bridges course work and clinical work by offering coursework at the same school site where students practice teaching. Similarly, and in the same state, the University of New Mexico has created Co-Teaching Collaborative Schools (CTCS), in which teacher candidates and cooperating teachers coteach, rather than one being an apprentice to the other. They share the planning, organization, delivery, and assessment of instruction, as well as the physical space, while a UNM faculty member is embedded on site at least 1 full day each week to support both the teacher candidate and the credentialed teacher.


Some MSI teacher education programs, such as the University of Houston, are seeking to build their own lab schools. The University of Houston is in the process of expanding its satellite campus in Sugar Land, Texas, with the specific intent to build on existing partnerships with surrounding K–12 school districts. To support these partnerships, the university has recently moved to a cohort system that enables teacher candidates to work together as they enroll in a full academic year of student teaching. This relatively new structure also allows content-area methods faculty to be more closely involved in the student teaching experiences, which has been an identified concern of their PK–12 partners.


Another university–school–community model can be found in California State University, Fresno’s chapter of the California Mini-Corps (CMC), a tutoring program that provides structured and sustained opportunities for university undergraduate migrant students to tutor migrant students in local school districts. By allowing students to work closely with credentialed teachers in school settings, assigning students a dedicated supervisor with a migrant background, and paying students an hourly salary that provides greatly needed financial assistance, the CMC program hopes to increase the numbers of bilingual certified teachers from migrant backgrounds sensitive to the needs of the migrant K–12 population.


Coppin State University operates two public schools—an elementary/middle school and a high school—of which over 30% of the teaching staff are Coppin State graduates. The high school—Coppin Academy—has been able to consistently maintain an over 90% graduation rate. Coppin State University also has a sustained partnership with the Baltimore Teachers Union, offering professional development courses and advanced licensure programs at discounted tuition.



California State University, Bakersfield has increased its efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community and to support aspiring teachers in light of recent legislation that limits or denigrates bilingual education. At the core of the university’s teacher education program are the Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) and the Bilingual Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) emphasis programs.


Approximately 1,300 teacher candidates and practicing teachers participate in The University of New Mexico’s ZETAC program. As discussed above, the primary goal of this collaboration is to increase the number of Zuni teachers teaching in the Zuni Public School District, and to provide professional development in Zuni history and culture for current and future teachers. Teachers have created projects connected to the Zuni community that are also in line with state curriculum standards.


In addition to sustained clinical work in schools, many MSIs incorporate service learning and engagement in local organizations—such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Head Start and United Way. These opportunities not only assist entire communities, but help prospective teachers to better understand the relationship of successful schools to the neighboring institutions on which they rely.


At Hampton University, students are required to work at community-based facilities such as day care centers, Head Start programs, and local schools. This experience not only helps them become more familiar with and invested in their local communities, but also encourages them to stay in these communities after graduation. The College of the Menominee Nation (a TCU) developed early childhood culturally responsive instruction model to place teacher education students in community education institutions such as the Menominee Indian Head Start. The University of Houston is building family/community literacy events as venues for connecting future teachers with the communities they will serve. At Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Associate Professor Shelley Weeks-Channel has created the SPARKLE (Students Participating and Realizing Knowledge, Learning Educational Entrepreneurship) program. In contrast to community service learning, this program brings education students together with educational entrepreneurs to learn about key business concepts related to education.


MSIs are also preparing prospective teachers for leadership positions in diverse and underserved communities; increasing interaction between faculty and teacher education students; and providing additional opportunities for teacher research, publishing, fundraising, and networking.


At Hampton University, students work side by side with faculty in writing grants and conducting research. Research and grant-writing experience give Hampton students “ownership” of their education and provide them with the tools to share their skills with their future students. Students and faculty are currently working on a grant proposal to attract African American males into the teaching profession by providing financial incentives for pursuing a teaching career. Coppin State University’s Teacher Advisement and Retention Center (TEAR-C) was established in 2011 to support the critical needs of underrepresented students pursuing teaching as a profession. Among other services, TEAR-C hosts discussions with local principals and teachers, and showcases student achievements.


Florida A&M University requires all graduating teacher education majors to complete an action research project as part of their student teaching field experience and present at a university-wide research symposium, which provides a springboard for future teacher researchers and incentives to pursue higher education. Likewise, Prairie View A&M University (an HBCU) offers an annual student research symposium, which takes place during a summer academic term. Students present a research project they developed and are involved in all aspects of planning and hosting the symposium.


MSIs integrate critical discussions of diversity and equity across their coursework, preparing teacher educators and teachers to effectively use culturally relevant pedagogy and recognize students’ contributions (rather than academic deficits) as building blocks for curriculum development, student motivation and engagement, and academic success.


The University of Houston developed the Faculty Institute on Success with Diverse Undergraduate Students, a year-long seminar series designed to build faculty capacity to blend individual content areas with effective strategies for students with culturally, linguistically, or otherwise diverse backgrounds. Many TCUs, such as the College of Menominee Nation, build their curricula around tribal values such as reflection, respect, risk-taking, collaboration, and caring. Stone Child College, located on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation to serve the Chippewa Cree Tribe, incorporates the Chippewa Cree culture into many of its extracurricular activities and student services, including a Monday Drum Lunch, where students and faculty come together with the college president to share food, tribal drumming, and other cultural activities, while also learning about upcoming events and opportunities.


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: TWO MODEL PROGRAMS


Following are short descriptions of two particularly promising model teacher education programs at MSIs that incorporate multiple elements of the strategies listed above (e.g., early recruitment, financial assistance, cohort models, university–school partnerships, additional clinical hours in the classroom, assistance with testing, certification and job placement, and more intensive mentoring, supervision, and support services). These programs are examples of how teacher education at MSIs can potentially reconstruct the entire scope of teacher education from high school recruitment to clinical experience to graduation, and beyond—including professional development and mentoring in the early years of full-time teaching.


CALIFORNIA MINI-CORPS PROGRAM AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO


“I want to be able to bring in things that make them feel comfortable, make them feel like they’re at home…When the students get nervous and say, ‘I don’t belong here,’ that’s something I don’t want my students to feel.  I want them to feel that they belong in the classroom.” – Former migrant student preparing to be a teacher in the California State University, Fresno Mini Corp Program


California State University, Fresno offers its teacher education students opportunities to get their teaching degrees in conjunction with the CMC Program (described earlier). Founded in 1967 in collaboration with California’s Department of Migrant Education, this statewide program is committed to the success of migrant students, particularly those who do not speak English or are bilingual. Considered one of the most vulnerable groups of children in the country, migrant students often express the internalized belief that they don’t “belong in the classroom.”  The combined impact of frequently moving to new school districts, with the challenges of being English Language Learners and coming from low-income immigrant families with few if any ties to the American education system, can make migrant students feel out of place. The fact that so many migrant students are put in special education classes where they are not adequately challenged to their full ability is a self-fulfilling prophecy for school dropout and disengagement.   


California State University, Fresno’s CMC program addresses three main educational priorities, including: 1) Enhancing K–12 learning opportunities by pairing migrant students with Mini-Corps members who can provide them with one-on-one tutoring, mentoring, and home visits; 2) Advancing college access and degree attainment for migrant students by offering teacher education students an opportunity to participate in a cohort model with additional supervision, including support with teacher certification exams, portfolio development, and career counseling; and 3) Significantly increasing the number of hours student teachers spend in the classroom. As compared to 600 hours of student teaching that the typical teacher education student is required to complete, Mini-Corps students receive between 3,000 and 4,000 hours of supervised classroom experience and staff development. Last year, Mini-Corps students had an opportunity to collaborate with 165 teachers in local school districts, providing direct instruction to 676 pupils.



NEW MEXICO STATE BLOCKS


“By the time they get to our class, they have already taken a multicultural education course. But it's one course. It doesn’t guarantee they're going to make the connections necessary to teacher education and the politics of teacher education….I think you also have to think every day when you go into that classroom why am I here?  Why am I doing this?  What is my purpose and intention with these students? So I try to ask them to be reflective about why they're doing what they're doing.” – New Mexico State Teacher Education Faculty Member


The gap between their theory and methods courses and the experience of implementing these strategies in real-time classrooms can be a critical stumbling block for many aspiring teachers.  To address this issue New Mexico State University created the BLOCKS program.  BLOCKS allows for prospective teachers to spend mornings working in an actual classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher, and afternoons at the same school site in seminars taught by university faculty. As teacher education students note, this provides them with the opportunity to continually reflect on the connections between what they do in the classroom and what they are studying in their courses and teaching textbooks.  It also provides unprecedented opportunities for teacher education faculty to make sure what they are teaching reflects current school-based standards and core values. BLOCKS faculty from New Mexico State have repeated opportunities to observe their students practicing teaching in the classroom, and to reshape their course curriculum according to daily questions that arise in practice.  Faculty also meet frequently with in-service teacher mentors throughout the semester to share their syllabus and assignments thus providing on-going professional development and networks for practicing teachers.


CONCLUSION


In summary, MSI schools of education are demonstrating that with the proper academic supports and opportunities for growth, minority teachers will not only be more attracted to the teaching profession, but will be more likely to persist in getting their degrees, working in minority and high-needs communities as both teachers and educational leaders, and, most importantly, becoming effective, high-quality teachers for all students. MSIs recognize that these supports and opportunities need to be embedded into coursework and across degree programs, and that teacher education faculty must be closely involved at all levels. Finally, it should be underscored that the kind of relationships that MSIs have, and continue to build, with local schools and community educational organizations offer a model of sustained and reciprocal partnerships that may change the way that clinical work, service learning, and student teaching is practiced across all teacher preparation programs, including those at PWIs and alternative routes of certification.


Early research on the potential of MSIs to improve teacher education and education for minority students is promising, but still speculative. We conclude with some questions for future research on MSIs and teacher education, as we strongly advocate that these institutions can serve as exemplars for both bringing minorities into the teaching profession and successfully preparing them to help close the achievement gap for minority students in empowering and culturally relevant ways. These questions will continue to be critical, as the need for new teachers grows, as our nation’s population continues to diversify, and as new state standards and proficiency tests become closely tied to student achievement and school funding:


1) How are MSIs a catalyst for enlarging the numbers of teachers willing to work in minority-populated, underserved, and high-need schools/school districts, and how does the social justice mission of MSIs translate into a more caring and committed professional ethos for teachers? What can we learn from MSI models of embedded school–community partnerships and mandatory in-service learning? In what specific ways are MSIs challenging deficit models of teaching and learning?


2) As we learn more about what drives minority teachers out of the profession, how can MSIs play a leadership role in addressing and dismantling these obstacles? Likewise, how can MSIs help nurture teachers at the preparation level and help them thrive throughout their careers? How can MSIs encourage minorities to be “visionaries as well as activists”?1 How can the traditionally strong alumni networks at MSIs provide ongoing support, mentoring, and professional development for new teachers?


3) How can MSIs challenge the notion that minority teachers are not necessarily high-quality teachers, and that their primary value is in serving as “role models” for minority students? How can MSIs help promote culturally relevant pedagogy as simply good practice that can benefit all students?


4) Given the emerging importance of the Common Core and other state standards, how can MSIs play a leadership role in preparing teachers to effectively meet these new standards while still honoring and building upon individual diversity and cultural funds of knowledge?


We look forward to ongoing opportunities to partner with MSIs to continue to investigate and answer these questions, and urge other education scholars to do the same. As Ladson-Billings (2011) reminds us: “Given all the negative discourse around the usefulness of teacher education, it is important to identify those teacher education programs that take seriously the challenge of preparing teachers who can be successful with diverse groups of students” (p. 395). While these programs are not exclusive to MSIs, the role of MSIs should not be minimized because they are small or underresourced. According to Ladson-Billings, “even when these programs are small, we should be able to isolate relevant components and determine whether they can be scaled up for replication” (pp. 395–396).


Notes


1. The research on minority achievement and the role of minority teachers in K–12 education is vast and growing all the time. We do not attempt to do a full literature review herein, but rather to highlight some of the key findings and outstanding questions. The bibliography lists some of the many books and articles that can provide more information.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 10, 2017, p. 1-31
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21844, Date Accessed: 1/18/2022 8:52:41 AM

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About the Author
  • Alice Ginsberg
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    ALICE GINSBERG is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and also serves as the Assistant Director for Research at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Marybeth Gasman
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    MARYBETH GASMAN is professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and also serves as the Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Andrés Samayoa
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    ANDRÉS CASTRO SAMAYOA is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and also serves as the Assistant Director for Assessment at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.
 
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