07 SES 10 B, Teachers’ Professional Identities towards Diversity
Demographic shifts associated with high levels of forced and voluntary migration around the world has led to a change in the profiles of pupil populations in many countries (Godwin, 2010). In Europe, classrooms in many places have become increasingly characterised by cultural and linguistic diversity due to the movement of people within the 'borderless' European Union, as well as the migration of those escaping war and/or political turmoil. Increasingly culturally homogenous classrooms have become rare. For instance, a 2011 census of Schools in Scotland indicated that 138 different languages were spoken by children and young people in Scottish schools. Primary school students for whom English is an additional language numbered 15.8% of the total student population in 2012 with numbers being as high as 65% in some areas of the city (Scottish Government, 2012). These developments have led to demand for teachers and pre-service teachers who have the attitude and pedagogical values to educate children from diverse cultural backgrounds (Santoro, 2014). Such cultural awareness can help teachers overcome stereotypical expectations of migrant groups, a phenomenon that can have detrimental effects on the learning of children who are not from the dominant cultural majority (Glock & Krolak-Schwerdt, 2013).
To address these issues, various professional bodies and initial teacher education programmes have made it an imperative for teachers to develop culturally responsive pedagogies (e.g., Santoro, 2014). A key strategy for achieving this goal has been to encourage international experiences for teachers and teacher education students (Santoro & Major 2012). The argument for international experience can be understood within the framework of Allport’s (1954) Contact Hypothesis which underpins much of the work aimed at reducing prejudice among differing groups. According to this theory, lack of contact and interaction between groups is the basis of negative stereotypes about outgroups. It proposes that spatial proximity and contact provides an opportunity for interaction with outgroups, and this can lead to the erosion of prejudice and negative attitudes. However, if the nature of contact is not optimally facilitated contact may lead to strengthening of prejudice against outgroups (Binder et al., 2009). Within the teacher education literature, Santoro (2014) found that rather than developing positive attitudes towards cultural diversity, international experience may lead pre-service teachers to develop and maintain postcolonial and neo-colonial views. For contact to be beneficial, it should entail equality of status, involve cooperation, institutional support and facilitate the development of close relationships (Pettigrew, 1998). Judging from these conditions, it is important to explore the nature and type of international experiences that help facilitate positive attitudes towards cultural diversity if we are to prepare teachers with the requisite values to succeed in culturally diverse classrooms. The current study therefore aims to explore pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards cultural diversity and evaluate whether the nature of previous experiences abroad make a difference to their attitudes. Our investigation is guided by the following question:
To what extent are pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards cultural diversity influenced by the nature of previous experiences abroad?
Allport, G. W. (1958). The nature of prejudice. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. Binder J., et al., (2009). Does contact reduce prejudice or does prejudice reduce contact? A longitudinal test of the Contact Hypothesis among majority and minority groups in three European countries. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(4), 843–856. Godwin, A. L. (2010). Globalization and the preparation of quality teachers: Rethinking knowledge domains for teaching. Teaching Education, 21, 19-32. Glock, S., & Krolak-Schwerdt, S. (2013). Does nationality matter? The impact of stereotypical expectations on student teachers’ judgments. Social Psychology Education, 16, 111–127 Pettigrew, T. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85. Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (1985). Intergroup anxiety. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 157–175. Santoro, N. (2014). ‘If I’m going to teach about the world, I need to know the world’: developing Australian pre-service teachers’ intercultural competence through international trips. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(3), 429-444. Santoro, N. & Major, J. (2012). Learing to be a culturally responsive teacher through international study trips: Transformation or tourism? Teaching Education, 23(3), 309-322.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.