Developing Pre-Service Teachers: A Social Justice Approach for Educating Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students


  • Elizabeth Alsen Mesa Community College
  • Ray R. Buss Arizona State University



Dissertation in Practice, social justice, culturally and linguistically diverse students, action research


In this article, we describe a dissertation in practice (DiP) conducted by the first author. The DiP focused on a social justice issue—providing pre-service teachers with highly effective preparation for working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. As part of the article, interludes have been inserted prior to each major section of the article. These interludes have been used to discuss the thinking and research processes that were considered as the DiP unfolded in a program that employed an action research approach. The intervention was multi-faceted including teaching about orientations toward CLD students, providing pre-service teachers with pedagogical knowledge and skills, and employing a Community of Practice-based, service-learning approach. Quantitative and qualitative results from the study indicated pre-service teachers increased their knowledge, self-efficacy, and projected use of culturally responsive pedagogy. Discussion focused on connecting results to the literature, implications for practice and research, and extensions to current work.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth Alsen, Mesa Community College

Dr. Elizabeth Alsen is a faculty member at Mesa Community College.  She teaches a variety of courses to pre-serice teachers.  She is a graduate of the EdD in Innovation and Leadership in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.   

Ray R. Buss, Arizona State University

Dr. Ray Buss is Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Research in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.  He teaches courses and directs students' dissertations in practice in the highly regarded EdD program at ASU.


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How to Cite

Alsen, E., & Buss, R. R. (2022). Developing Pre-Service Teachers: A Social Justice Approach for Educating Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 7(2), 61–73.



Themed - Student Research