Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Brenda Rodges Brand
Title:Influence of Pre-service Teachers' Beliefs about Diversity on Science Teaching and Learning
Degree:Doctor of Philosophy
Department:Teaching and Learning
Committee Chair: Dr. George E. Glasson
Committee Members:Dr. Thomas Sherman
Dr. Susan Magliaro
Dr. Gary Downey
Dr. Paula Wilder
Keywords: pre-service teachers, diversity, multicultural education, border crossings, and teacher beliefs
Date of defense:February 13, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


The influences of the background experiences of five pre-service Science teachers on their beliefs about diversity were the focus for this study. These individuals were followed throughout their teacher preparation program. The data for this study consisted of interviews, conducted before and after entering the field. Data also consisted of any relevant written assignments. The data for this study were analyzed according to emerging themes, depicting initial beliefs and any changes in the beliefs occurring over time. The results of this study were organized into vignettes, telling each story from before and after the students entered the program. Three themes emerged from an analysis and interpretation of the vignettes: (1) Early life experiences shaped the pre-service teachers’ sense of identity and influenced their beliefs on diversity, (2) Experiences with diversity influenced pre-service teachers’ philosophy of teaching, and (3) Experiences with diversity during the teacher preparation program challenged or confirmed pre-service teachers’ preexisting beliefs. The implications from this study suggest that pre-service teachers need challenging experiences in diverse classroom settings that will promote an expansion of their beliefs, enabling them to cross cultural borders.

List of Attached Files


At the author's request, all materials (PDF files, images, etc.) associated with this ETD are accessible from the Virginia Tech network only.

The author grants to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.