A case study of Texas regional education service center multicultural/diversity trainers' perception of teacher resistance and structural barriers to multicultural education
MetadataShow full item record
This qualitative case study of eight veteran Texas Regional Education Service Center Multicultural/Diversity Trainers examined their perceptions of structural barriers and teacher resistance to a voluntary program of Multicultural/Diversity Training (MDT). It also explored how they made sense of their roles in light of their social locations. Data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews of the trainers, observations of MDT sessions, and examination of relevant documents. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Three themes associated with structural barriers emerged: contextual factors, lack of administrative support, and the Texas system of accountability, particularly high stakes testing. The contextual factors were differences in regional cultures, the autonomy of the Education Service Centers, and the voluntary nature of MDT. Lack of administrative support for MDT is crucial because teachers often take administrative response to school reform as their cue for action or inaction. In Texas, high stakes testing exerts influence at every educational level, particularly on teachers in relation to curriculum, instruction, student placement and professional development choices. Teacher resistance to MDT occurred in the training sessions and in the classroom setting. During the training sessions teachers resisted MDT because it challenged deeply held beliefs and encouraged self-examination, personal disclosure, and discussions of race/ethnicity and culture. Resistance in the educational setting was manifested in maintenance of a Eurocentric perspective, and in school practices such as negative attitudes toward multicultural education and MDT, placement of students of color in special education and lower tracks, and negative attitudes toward all people of color. Ultimately, trainers suggest that they are enmeshed in a system that seeks to maintain the status quo, and that too many teachers have low expectations for students who are different from themselves and conform to a deficit model when dealing with those students.
Ibrahim, Eronif (2007). A case study of Texas regional education service center multicultural/diversity trainers' perception of teacher resistance and structural barriers to multicultural education. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from