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Student teachers’ perceptions about multicultural education in Singapore
Multicultural education
Student teachers
Primary level
Issue Date: 
Paper presented at the International Assembly at the National Council for Social Studies Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 22 - 24 November 2013
This pilot study used a qualitative exploratory design to obtain the perceptions of student teachers in a post-graduate diploma in education programme (specialisation in primary level) in Singapore as to their understanding of multicultural education and practices as well as key issues for multicultural education. Open-ended questionnaires were first administered with 25 student teachers. Student teachers' perceptions of multicultural education were mostly congruent to the state's definition where multiculturalism is very much aligned with multiracialism. Six typical respondents were then purposefully selected to be interviewed to explore the responses in more depth. Data from open-ended questionnaires and interviews were analysed and three major themes emerged. The three major themes are: (1) importance of respecting differences in culture to maintain 'harmony'; (2) superficial perception of multicultural practices; and (3) concerns with instruction. Implications and recommendations for teacher education as well as future research were then discussed.
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