Preparing Teachers for Diverse Schools - An Online Tool for Calculating School Diversity for Field Placements

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Journal of Research in Education


While teacher education programs are required to place preservice teachers in diverse schools/classrooms, the conceptualization and measurement of diversity remains a challenge. One of the primary methods for developing teachers so that they can capably work with diverse student populations is to provide field experiences that place teacher candidates in schools with diverse populations. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe how a teacher education institution developed a web application to record and calculate diversity of the field practicum placements; and (2) describe how the institution used the placement diversity data to research program improvement and decision making. The results indicated that the diversity level of the practicum placement was positively correlated with some outcomes, such as graduate and employer satisfaction ratings, and negatively correlated with others, like internship outcomes. The data from this study was used to guide program improvement decisions.