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Coming to understand how cultural differences influence interactions between educators and students and their parents is a complex and perhaps life-long discovery. Culture helps to define groups’ belief systems and expectations for appropriate behavior, often at a hidden level. Pre-service teachers need multiple opportunities to interact with diverse populations in supervised and reflective environments. This article recounts key experiences in one White American’s life that have led to his current understanding of diversity and the role of diversity in education. These experiences occurred throughout my life; some were by chance and others were more prescribed. The article concludes with reflections on lessons learned as they pertain to teacher preparation programs.


©2015, De Gruyter. Original published version available at

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Multicultural Learning and Teaching





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