In this study, two teacher educators, one special education faculty and one mathematics education faculty, examined ways to infuse educational theory into their practice to develop preservice teachers’ ability to meet the demands of the 21st century classroom. The study took place at an urban university in the southeastern United States where the teacher education program prepares future educators for the most diverse classroom settings existing in U.S. public schools today. Results informed the teacher educators of relevant challenges preservice teachers experience with regard to instructional design that addresses the needs of diverse learners. The action research study took place over a 3-semester period during which time the teacher educators learned how structured supports enhanced their students’ abilities to develop effective instruction for diverse learners.


Authors’ note: For the purpose of this study, diverse learners are defined as (a) students with disabilities, (b) Culturally Diverse/English Language Learners, (c) gifted (accelerated) learners, and (d) students with instructional disabilities.

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