Mentored undergraduate research; critical multicultural education; teacher education; preservice teachers


Although mentored undergraduate research has been shown to deepen student engagement across various disciplines, this type of extended learning opportunity is not a prominent feature of research and practice in teacher education. Our article addresses this gap by analyzing the experiences and growth of a group of five preservice teachers engaged in a mentored undergraduate research experience in introductory critical multicultural education courses. Specifically, we examined how pre-service teachers’ personal, academic, and professional engagement with critical multicultural education is impacted when they are positioned as researchers and receive additional training outside the traditional class format. Our findings indicate that their involvement as student co-researchers fostered a new awareness, sensitivity, and emotional investment in issues of social justice beyond what they gained in their introductory multicultural education course. Pre-service teachers described navigating personal relationships with new awareness and sensitivity and adjusting future plans in accordance with their deeper understanding and commitment to educational equity. We argue that mentored research opportunities are an innovative way to reposition professor/student power differentials in teacher education research and offer a unique model of critical multicultural teacher education that promotes deep engagement with issues beyond the classroom setting.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



PKP Publishing Services Network




David O. McKay School of Education


Teacher Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor