Race and gender in teacher preparation programs : how does being a white female inform leadership decisions in creating a culture of excellence for tomorrow's teachers?
To create a culture of excellence in any organization, an effective leader must understand his or her leadership in all its dimensions. Education has been historically dominated by white women making it imperative that leaders in this field analyze their leadership in terms of gender and race. This becomes critical in the 21st century due to the widening "gap" between white female teachers and their increasingly diverse student population. This growing disconnect created by a "demographic imperative" is a particular challenge to teacher preparation programs where the student population is continuing the pattern of a majority of white, female preservice teachers for tomorrow's diverse classrooms. Current classroom dynamics especially in urban areas are demanding a cadre of teachers capable of understanding multicultural and diversity issues. Demographic shifts in K-12 classrooms call for culturally competent teachers skilled in building community and celebrating differences among students; however, current conditions reveal devastating consequences on our society.
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