10 SES 08 A, Professional Knowledge & Teacher Identity: Inclusivity
Research suggests preservice teachers generally do not feel adequately prepared to teach a diverse range of students (Spratt & Florian, 2014) and that the theory learnt at university is often not evidenced in practice in the field (Mergler, Carrington, Kimber & Bland, 2016). In addition, a recent large-scale study (EADSNE 2012) of how initial teachers education programmes in 25 European countries prepared preservice teachers to work in inclusive settings recognised that there is a dearth of research in this area (Black-Hawkins & Amrhein, 2014).
Rutherford (2016) discusses that despite the fact that it is the responsibility of teacher educators to develop new teachers who can meet the needs of all students, the staff charged with this responsibility may unconsciously contribute to ideologies that marginalise some learners. Mergler et al. (2016) note the context within which preservice teachers gain their professional experience may also be counter-productive and limit the development of the ideals of inclusive education. Experiences are limiting when preservice teachers are (re)immersed in school contexts that mirror their own student experiences or offer restricted opportunities to engage with and reflect on the impact ideologies that marginalise some students. According to Bartolomé (p. xiii), “Ideology refers to the framework of thought constructed and held by members of a society to justify or rationalize an existing social order.”
Preservice teachers enter university with their own set of beliefs that are often intransigent and extremely difficult to change, developed through periods of unconsciousness: immersion in the dominant culture (Gonsalves, 2007) and dysconsciousness: when an unchallenged acceptance events occurs (King, 1991). Teacher education needs to occur in a space of preconsciousness: where an emerging awareness of inequity and possible conflict of existing beliefs with alternatives are considered (Bartolomé, 2008). These spaces promote transformation and critical consciousness where the desire to become an agent of change can be actualised.
Teacher educators have an opportunity to disrupt the cycle of discriminatory thinking. This disruption is of critical importance in producing teachers who challenge common sense practices sustained through hegemonic ideology. However, the process to disrupt is made challenging because of short timeframes and fragmented programme opportunities (Black-Hawkins & Amrhein, 2014) as well as the privileging of curriculum knowledge and practicum components of the programme, and the preservice teachers’ demand for ‘practical’ strategies and silver bullet solutions (Mills, 2008).
Therefore, in an attempt to raise the critical consciousness (Zepke, 2015) of our preservice teachers we offered their involvement in research processes. While doing this we drew on Black-Hawkins and Amrhein’s (2014) work in UK and German contexts, in which inclusive research principles were used as a framework for researching with, rather than on, preservice teachers (Nind, 2014). This approach reflects our commitment to the value we place on preservice teachers’ perspectives and how they can inform our own work as teacher educators.
In this presentation, the initial findings of four Australian case studies taken from a larger trans-Tasman research project reveal how preservice teachers’ understandings of diversity and inclusive education are both challenged and supported through different elements of their preservice preparation. Our aims was: (1) to extend preservice teachers opportunities to identify and critically reflect upon their values, beliefs and feelings about learner diversity and inclusive education, and (2) to utilise student teachers’ perspectives, as a means of informing our work as teacher education (Black-Hawkins & Amrhein, 2014).
Our presentation is guided by the following research question:
What can teacher educators learn from preservice teachers regarding the most effective ways of supporting individuals to recognise and challenge deficit ideologies to transform understandings of diversity and to support the theory practice divide in teacher education?
Bazeley, P. 2013. Qualitative data analysis. Practical strategies. London, UK: Sage Black-Hawkins, K., & Amrhein, B. (2014). Valuing student teachers’ perspectives: Researching inclusively in inclusive education? International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 37(4), 357–375. Evelein, F.G., & Korthagen, F. (2015). Practicing Core Reflection. New York, NY: Routledge Bartolomé, L. I. 2008. Introduction: Beyond the fog of ideology. In Ideologies in education: Unmaking the trap of teacher neutrality, (Ed.), L. I. Bartolomé, ix-xxix. New York, NY: Peter Lang. King, J. E. (1991). Dysconscious racism: Ideology, identity, and the miseducation of teachers. Journal of Negro Education, 60(2), 133–146. doi: 10.2307/2295605 Gonsalves, R. E. (2007). Hysterical blindness and the ideology of denial: Preservice teachers’ resistance to multicultural education. In L. I. Bartolome (Ed.), Ideologies in education: Unmasking the trap of teacher neutrality (pp. 3–28). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Korthagen, F.A.J. (2004). In search of the essence of a good teacher: towards a more holistic approach in teacher education. Teaching and teacher education, 20(1), 77-97. Mergler, A., Carrington, S., Kimber, M., & Bland, D. (2016). Inclusive values: exploring the perspectives of preservice teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(4), 20-38. Nind, M. (2014). Inclusive research and inclusive education: Why connecting them makes sense for teachers’ and learners' democratic development of education. Cambridge Journal of Education, 44(4), 525–540. Rutherford, G. (2016). Questioning special needs-ism: Supporting student teachers in troubling and transforming understandings of human worth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 56, 127–137. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.009 Spratt, J., and L. Florian. 2014. Developing and using a framework for gauging the use of inclusive pedagogy by new and experienced teachers. In Measuring inclusive education (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 3, eds. C. Forlin and T. Loreman, 263-78.) Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Doi:10.1108/S1479-363620140000003029 Zepke, N. (2015). Student engagement research: thinking beyond the mainstream. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(6), 1311–1323. Doi: 10.1080/07294360.2015.10246635
- 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.