Multicultural teaching competence of Korean early childhood educators during a period of rapid ethno-cultural diversification
Park, Sung Ok
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This mixed method study, provides insight into the preparation of Korean teachers to meet emerging diversity challenges. The purpose of this study is to determine the current state of the art regarding the multicultural teaching competence of Korean early childhood educators in a period of rapid ethno-cultural diversification from a traditionally homogeneous to heterogeneous society. Specifically, this study (1) investigated the status of Korean early childhood educators' multicultural teaching competences and (2) it explored relationships between the multicultural teaching competence and variables that might impact differences in such competence. The purposeful sampling method was implemented for this study. Korean pre-service and in-service teachers participated for this study (n = 178). Firstly, participant teachers' multicultural teaching competency (MTC) was measured by Multicultural Teaching Scale (Wayson, 1993). Hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to investigate the relationship between MTC and multicultural background variables. In addition, follow-up in-depth interviews were conducted with the two highest scoring and the two lowest scoring teacher participants. Results of the study suggest that Korean early childhood educators have relatively low competent in teaching multicultural classrooms. Also, it suggested that multicultural education; such as taking diversity related courses in teacher training college and/or attending workshops may play a role in higher levels of multicultural teaching competence. Furthermore, participant teachers who scored higher in MTC tended to have a broader view of culture when compared to those who scored lower. This study concluded that Korean teacher education institutes are in urgent need of multicultural education for early childhood educators. It further suggests benefits of university coursework in supporting greater knowledge and cultural sensitivity.