10 SES 11 B, Programmes and Approaches: Inter- and Transcultural experiences and contexts
In this paper we provide a documentary analysis of how one initial teacher education programme has been using cross-cultural community-based learning experiences to enable their preservice teachers’ intercultural competence development as the foundation for culturally responsive practice.
Social, cultural, and linguistic diversity have become a defining characteristic of schools and education systems globally. Yet, in many Western democracies, including countries in Europe, and New Zealand, far too many children and youth from minority communities continue to experience educational disparities (OECD, 2012). This inequity has remained a persistent policy and practice challenge over the last decades, resulting in wide-ranging calls for reforming teacher education (European Commission, 2012). Of particular concern is better preparing new teachers to engage positively with diversity in ways that engender more equitable outcomes for traditionally marginalized youth (Ball & Tyson 2011; Caena & Margiotta 2010), including the development of intercultural competencies and culturally responsive practice (Caena & Margiotta, 2010; Pecek, Macura-Milovanovic & Vujisic-Živkovic, 2014).
Hyland and Meacham (2004) have noted that many teachers and student teachers implicitly hold deficit assumptions about their students from historically marginalized groups that “can serve to alienate students from school and perpetuates the cycle by reinforcing social distance between teachers and families” (p. 115). However, there is ample scholarly evidence that demonstrates that by developing culturally responsive practices teachers are better able to provide equitable opportunities for learning for all students (e.g. Gay, 2010). This means developing both the principles and practices that enable them to continually learn about, connect with, and leverage students’ diversity of identity, languages and cultures, family and community resources, and out-of-school knowledge and experiences. (McDonald, Tyson, Brayko, Bowman, Delport, Shimomura, 2011, 1670).
Therefore, culturally responsive teaching has been posited as an essential component of reframing educator preparation in pursuit of equity (Caena & Margiotta, 2010). Grant and Gibson (2011) have argued that initial teacher education must challenge new teachers to reject deficit views of their students, and their students’ communities, by helping them understand how culture impacts learning, and develop cultural knowledge and connect it to their classroom practice and curriculum decisions. However, pointing to research by Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986), Hyland and Meacham (2004) caution that placing preservice teachers in schools that serve these young people without explicitly working to challenge their assumptions would lead to “(re)producing teacher[s] who conform to the social distance and deficit thinking that have historically proven so destructive for students in communities of color and low income” (p116). Therefore, they suggest teacher education programmes create other learning experiences that challenge traditional understandings of knowledge, including engaging with the ‘subjugated knowledge’ of marginalised communities (p117).
Cross-cultural community-based learning experiences are one way to teacher education programmes have sought to support preservice teachers in developing “pedagogy that is culturally and contextually relevant to students from backgrounds that are different from their own” (Sleeter, 2008, 563). Evidence from studies on these programme experiences demonstrate that they are effective in creating in preservice teachers an awareness of the cultural strengths of students and their families, and allow preservice teachers to view, experience, reflect upon and change perspectives of how others respond to and make sense of their worlds (Cooper, 2007 246). Thus, as teacher educators we believe that cross-cultural community-based learning experiences hold great potential to serve as the experiential foundation for preservice teachers developing intercultural competence and cultivating the principles and practices that underpin culturally responsive practice.
Caena, F., & Margiotta, U. (2010). European teacher education: A fractal perspective tackling complexity. European Educational Research Journal, 9(3), 317-331. Cochrane-Smith, M., & Donnell, K. (2006). Practitioner inquiry: Blurring the boundaries of research and practice. In J. Green, G. Camilli & P. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research (pp. 503-518). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Cooper, J. (2007). Strengthening the case for community-based learning in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(3), 245-255. Deardorff, D. K., (2006) Identification and assessment of intercultural competence as a student outcome of internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(3), 241-266. DOI: 10.1177/1028315306287002 Gay, G. (2010). Acting on beliefs in teacher education for cultural diversity. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1-2), 143-152. Grant, C. & Gibson, M. (2011). Diversity and teacher education: A historical perspective on research and policy. In A. F. Ball and C. A. Tyson (eds), Studying Diversity in Teacher Education, (pp 19-61), Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. Howard-Hamilton, M. F., Richardson, B. J., & Shuford, B. (1998). Promoting multicultural education: A holistic approach. College Student Affairs Journal, 18(1), 5. Hyland, N. E. & Meacham, s. (2004). Community knowledge-centered teacher education: A paradigm for socially just educational transformation. In J. L. Kincheloe, Bursztyn A, and S.R. Steinberg (eds), Teaching Teachers: Building a Quality School of Urban Education, (pp113-134). New York: Peter Lang. Loughran, J. J. & Russell, T. (2002). Improving teacher education practices through self-study. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Macfarlane, S. 2012. “In Pursuit of Culturally Responsive Evidence-based Special Education Pathways in Aotearoa New Zealand: Whaia ki te ara tika.” PhD diss., University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ. McDonald, M., Tyson, K., Brayko, K., Bowman, M., Delport, J., & Shimomura, F. (2011). Innovation and impact in teacher education: Community-based organizations as field placements for preservice teachers. Teachers College Record, 113(8), pp1668-1700. OECD. (2012). Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools. OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264130852-en Pecek, M., Macura-Milovanovic, S., & Vujisic-Živkovic, N., (2014). The Cultural Responsiveness of Teacher Candidates Towards Roma Pupils in Serbia and Slovenia – Case Studies. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 40(4), 359-376. Sleeter, C. E. 2008. "Preparing White Teachers for Diverse Students". In Handbook of Research in Teacher Education: Enduring Issues in Changing Contexts, 3rd ed., edited by M. Cochran-Smith, S. Feiman-Nemser, and J. McIntyre, 559–582. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
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