An Issue of Equity: Assessing the Cultural Knowledge of Preservice Teachers in Teach for America

Eric Ruiz Bybee


This literature review examines the research on the development of “cultural knowledge” for preservice teachers in Teach for America program. “Cultural knowledge” refers to a teacher’s awareness of the sociopolitical contexts of education and the development of critical consciousness about issues of educational equity. After a brief introduction to the organizational structure of TFA, I will discuss some of the recent research on the organization--much of which has focused on achievement, teacher preparation, and the public policy implications of the program. Then, I will examine themes in the research on the cultural knowledge of preservice teachers’ in traditional preparation programs, which I will contrast with an overview of the literature TFA’s evolving diversity training. Finally, I will consider possible avenues for research on the cultural knowledge of TFA teachers and discuss programmatic changes that will prepare corps members with the cultural competence necessary to work in communities of color.


Cultural Knowledge; Teacher Education; Social Justice; Equity; Teachers' Knowledge

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education