Infusing Diversity Constructs in Preservice Teacher Preparation

This article provides an overview and the results of the Crosswalks Intervention, which was developed, implemented, and evaluated to support inclusive early childhood preservice programs to be more reflective of, and responsive to, cultural and linguistic diversity. The Crosswalks Intervention, funded by the US Department of Education, was a professional development model implemented across undergraduate programs in one eastern state. Strategies within the professional development model included a self-assessment and systematic planning process, a variety of professional development opportunities including workshops; ongoing coaching via onsite, phone, and electronic communication; electronic newsletter with instructional resources; a searchable database of evidence-based resources; and mini-grants. Evaluation dimensions included assessment of diversity within the content taught, diversity across the practica sites utilized, and overall program practices (eg, recruitment, mentoring) that supported diversity. Data included self-assessment protocols and were analyzed using a pretest and posttest analysis. Results indicated significant changes by intervention participants on the dimensions of knowledge, skills, and instructional strategies related to culture and language within their own coursework, and limited to no changes on dimensions of overall program coursework, practica, and university or department program practices. Key words: cultural and linguistic diversity, early childhood, early childhood special education, faculty development, personnel preparation, preservice, unified, undergraduate education.