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Practices of teacher educators to deal with diversity

Boekbijdrage - Boekabstract Conferentiebijdrage

Teacher educators are tasked with preparing student teachers to deal with diversity (Han et al., 2014). While extensive literature focuses on teacher education programmes and curricula to fulfill this task (Cochran-Smith et al., 2016), little research exists on how higher education-based teacher educators carry out this task or deal with diversity themselves (Lunenberg & Guberman, 2019). Moreover, the available knowledge is rather scattered and little consistent (Kitchen et al., 2016; Van Vuuren et al., 2012). As such, a common language is still lacking, hindering the maturation of the research field and the creation of evidence-based professional development initiatives for teacher educators (Murray et al., 2021; Vanderlinde et al., 2021). This paper tackles this shortcoming by presenting a conceptual framework of how teacher educators deal with diversity, based on the results of two consecutive studies of a PhD project with its main objective to advance fundamental knowledge on teacher educatorsU+2019 dealing with diversity. Dealing with diversity in education can be associated with the international perspectives of inclusion (Florian, 2012), equity and equal educational opportunities (Gay, 2018), social justice (McDonald, 2005), and citizenship in pluralistic societies (Van Avermaet & Sierens, 2010). In both studies, an interpretation of the concept was used that combines insights from all these perspectives; dealing with diversity refers on the one hand to taking into account differences between people, and on the other to actions aimed at reducing social injustice. To explore corresponding teacher educator practices, a systematic literature review was conducted. Based on the PRISMA guidelines (Moher et al., 2010), a search protocol was developed to consult the ERIC and Web of Science databases. A thematic analysis on the selected articles (n = 55) resulted in a categorisation of five described practices. In a second study with a multiple case-study approach (Miles & Huberman, 1994), semi-structured interviews were conducted with Flemish teacher educators to empirically validate the findings of the review study (n = 12). Through qualitative-interpretative analysis, variables were uncovered that clarify differences between practices of teacher educators and the emerging conceptual framework was elaborated.. The conceptual framework that was established distinguishes five general practices of teacher educators regarding dealing with diversity, each with a distinct goal: (1) creating inclusive learning environments, (2) challenging student-teachersU+2019 beliefs, (3) applying explicit modeling, (4) critically approaching one's own beliefs, and (5) influencing the general discourse on diversity in/and education. Each practice is clearly explained from a theoretical basis and combined with practical examples. Furthermore, the framework was supplemented with personal, work-related and local factors that influence - hinder or favour - the actual implementation of these practices. For example, big class sizes can complicate the creation of conditional emotionally safe spaces for challenging beliefs, whereas close personal experiences with (people who suffer from) social injustice can make it more effortless to critically examine one's own beliefs. This framework can be seen as the starting point for the development of a common language regarding teacher educatorsU+2019 dealing with diversity, influencing future research, policy and practice.
Boek: NAFOL/HVL conference 2021 : diversity in teacher education research, Abstracts
Aantal pagina's: 1
Jaar van publicatie:2021