Finding whatworks and what does not in terms of preparing teachers for diversity, equityand justice is both complex and challenging. It’s a matter that clearly needs further and more in-depth study; study Ifthe findings of teacher efficacy research, as it relates to culturallyresponsive teaching, are to improve the preparation of culturally responsiveteachers, it is important to focus on those pedagogical aspects in whichpreservice teachers feel less efficacious and the related practices that theydo not believe will lead to positive outcomes.
In an era of growing cultural diversity, teacher educators and theinstitutions they serve need to take into consideration the needs of futureteachers by realistically including issues related to multicultural efficacyand cultural diversity. This is a matter that takes on increased importancewhen we consider the social, political and demographic changes that have foundexpression in our respective countries as well as through our borders onto thebroader world scene. To argue for increasedmulticultural efficacious future teachers means that becoming multiculturalpersons. Teachers incontemporary society need to have multicultural efficacy if they are toeffectively to support learning for all.
As Silverman (2010: 324) points out,”To build teachers’ efficacy around teaching for and about equity, it isessential that teachers recognize their capacity as individuals and as aprofession to bring about desirable outcomes for students…and ways to teachstudents to become stewards of democracy through the pursuit of socialjustice. Our study supports the ideathat higher education teachers need to continue to research how teachereducation programmes impact preservice teachers’ multicultural efficacy and byextension reflecting on their own beliefs about designing more effectiveteacher education courses. Learning to live with others is learning to maximizeeach person’s abilities and opportunities, and preservice teacher educationcourses should be taught with this in mind.Thesepreliminary findings of this study provide us with some interesting resultswhich may or may not continue when all the data has been analyzed.
However, IS,ME and attitudes towards multilingualism do appear to have interconnections andwarrant further study. Identifying whatattitudes, sensitivity and efficacy make teachers better equipped to work withlinguistically and culturally diverse students is something that can enrichteacher educators’ discourse and in the long-term influence what can beincluded in teacher education programs.