Thesis (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | School systems in the U.S. are based on dominant culture views which privilege some students over others. However, recent research shows few teacher education programs involve the social issues surrounding dominant culture into their programs. In order to develop a multicultural perspective within teaching, teacher education programs must include in their instruction information pertaining to the unearned privileges some students receive in the current U.S. school system. Yet, little research has been done regarding pre-service attitudes regarding privilege and oppression. This study examines the ways in which direct instructional activities regarding privilege and oppression impact pre-service foreign language teachers.
A mixed-methods approach was used to determine the manner in which pre-service foreign language teachers' attitudes about privilege and oppression changed after participating in a variety of instructional activities focusing on white privilege in the U.S. Qualitative data supported the quantitative findings, which indicated a change in attitude after participating in the instructional activities. A paired sample t-test examining the pre- and post-test results of The Privilege and Oppression Inventory as well as anecdotal evidence are given in this report to show the ways in which pre-service foreign language teachers' attitudes changed. Both data show an increase in awareness of the effects of privilege and oppression for all pre-service teachers. Additionally, the participants acknowledge the ways in which their new understandings can impact their futures as teachers and their future students. Finally, analyses of the ways in which this study are limited as well as ways it can be generalized are discussed.