Four Diverse Educators Chronicle Challenges in a Christian-Centered Society
Originally Published In
The Qualitative Report
Culturally responsive teaching requires that students be perceived holistically and part of student culture is religious beliefs. The purpose of this research is to offer insight into experiences and understandings of four preservice and inservice teachers', from diverse religious backgrounds, Muslim, Judaism, Sikhism, and Mormonism, experiences and understandings as they studied and worked in colleges of education and elementary classrooms that are rooted in Anglo Christian traditions. We relied on aspects of critical multiculturalism and social identity theory to guide the qualitative case study. In this case study, we analyzed reflexive journals and interviews of four participants using withincase and cross-case analysis. Within-case and cross-case analyses included four themes: separation of church and state, teaching for equity and awareness, respect for religious diversity, and personal beliefs. These findings suggest teacher educators incorporate religious and spiritual issues into diversity discussions and continue to support preservice teachers' development of conscious self-awareness and culturally responsive pedagogy.