Racism and Ethnocentrism: Social Representations of Preservice Teachers in the Context of Multi- and Intercultural Education

  • Nicole Carignan University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Michael Sanders Cleveland State University
  • Roland G. Pourdavood Cleveland State University


Using a constructivist inquiry paradigm, the authors attempted in their content analysis to understand the social representations on race and ethnocentrism of preservice secondary teachers studying in an urban university in a Midwest city in the United States. Although social representations can be understood as something in which our participants deeply believe, this study suggests that racial and ethnocentric biases should be examined in the context of multi- and intercultural education. The authors favor a way of revisiting taken-for-granted ideas toward traditional, liberal, and critical or radical multiculturalism. They argue for the recognition not only of the differences and diversity of students (multicultural perspective) but also of the way in which teachers understand, communicate, and interact with them (intercultural perspective).