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FUTURE TEACHER´S ATITTUDES TOWARDS DIVERSITY

Diversity is a reality in schools. As a matter on fact, Spanish education centers have changed considerably over the last ten years. Immigration children are frequent at schools. This new unexpected situations suppose cultural richness and can help to promote tolerance attitudes to diversity and to reduce xenophobic or racist behaviors in future. On the other hand, children with different disabilities tend to be included into an ordinary classroom. Integrating deficient and immigrant students in schools could be considered as a challenge, because of the difficulties teachers and classroom mates run into every day. Besides, a real integration depends on several factors. In this sense, teacher´s attitude turns out to be a fundamental factor as far as integration and good results or real success are concerned.
This paper tries to carry out an analysis of future young teachers´ attitudes towards diversity. Student teachers do not usually count on these situations, and they generally find an abundance of opportunities for positive interactions. Teachers who have been involved in integrating students with severe disabilities have found that careful planning is required to take full advantage of the available interaction opportunities. Still, this supposes an important challenge and these university students are normally scared of the new changes because of the difficulties they can find in a short period of time. That is why they sometimes show disapproval attitudes of immigration and diversity in general.
The instrument we employed to measure tolerance and attitudes to difference is based on the questionnaire surveys by Sánchez Mesa (1998) and Díaz Aguado (1996).