Effect of experience and professional development on multicultural teaching competence
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The current study focused on the effect of years of teaching experience and professional development hours on multicultural teaching competence in the areas of skills and knowledge. The teachers of three school districts within Minnesota were surveyed for this study. The study assessed levels of multicultural teaching competence as measured by the 16-item Multicultural Teaching Competency Scale (MTCS; Spanierman, et al., 2008). The teachers also provided information about their teaching experience, professional development, and demographics. A multivariate multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine if reported teaching experience or professional development hours can predict multicultural teaching competency in the areas of skills or knowledge. This combination of variables (teaching experience and professional development hours) did not significantly predict multicultural teaching skills or knowledge as measured by the MTCS. However, additional analyses indicated that the percentage of professional development hours devoted to multicultural issues did significantly predict multicultural teaching competence. Teachers who engaged in more professional development focused on multicultural issues reported higher levels of multicultural teaching competence. This indicates that school districts should encourage teachers to attend professional development conferences on multicultural topics in order to assist teachers in developing their multicultural teaching competence.