10 SES 09 B, Increasing Diversity within Schools: Pedagogy, values and teacher learning
Heterogeneity in the classroom has become one of the most important challenges in today’s educational systems all over the world (Gräsel et al. 2017). As a result of migration, the student body has become more and more culturally diverse (for Germany see Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung 2016). As a consequence of the ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, pupils with special education needs are increasingly educated in inclusive classrooms.
Against this background, the present study empirically addresses the issue of teachers’ prerequisites to handle the challenges of diversity in the classroom. In particular, the paper deals with the factors that assist in developing these prerequisites. It tries to answer the question as to how individual characteristics of (prospective) teachers and the learning environment in teacher education contribute to the development of competencies that are crucial for successful teaching in heterogeneous classrooms.
Theoretically, the study is informed by a model of teachers’ professional competencies that is widely used in national (e.g., Baumert and Kunter 2013) and international research (e.g., Schmidt et al. 2011). This model distinguishes between cognitive aspects of professional competencies, such as content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, and non-cognitive aspects, such as value commitments and beliefs, motivation, and self-regulation. In our study, we focus on non-cognitive factors, which have been shown empirically to play an important role for the quality of teaching, which in turn affects students’ competencies (e.g., Kunter et al. 2013). We, in particular, centre on attitudes towards immigrant students and towards inclusive education of special needs students, which are conceived to be part of teachers’ beliefs (Kunter and Pohlmann 2015; Voss et al. 2013). In addition, we examine teachers’ self-efficacy expectations with regard to teaching immigrant students and special needs students in inclusive classrooms. According to Baumert and Kunter (2013), for example, these factors can be viewed to belong to the dimension of motivational orientations of teachers’ professional competencies.
To explain the level of teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy expectations, we refer to the “opportunity-use model” (for a short description see Zierer and Seel 2012). This model states that the development of competencies on the one hand depends on the learning opportunity and its characteristics (e.g., quality of instruction). On the other hand, individual characteristics, such as cognitive abilities, interests, and personality, are assumed to be important insofar as they determine whether and how efficient learning opportunities are used. Correspondingly, our study analyses the effect of both individual characteristics of (prospective) teachers and contextual factors in teacher education on the above-mentioned aspects of teachers’ professional competencies.
We use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort First-Year Students (doi:10.5157/NEPS: SC5: 9.0.0). This sub-study longitudinally observes a state-wide random sample of new entrants to German higher education institutions in the winter semester 2010/2011. The NEPS data are complemented by data from the Teacher Education Panel Study, which accompanies and is closely linked to the NEPS study on first-year students. Information on (prospective) teachers’ beliefs and motivational orientation were collected in a web-based survey in autumn 2016. Approximately 1,850 target persons (mostly teacher candidates, only few of them already working as teacher) answered the relevant questions. To measure attitudes towards inclusive education of students with special educational needs and corresponding self-efficacy expectations, a shortened and slightly modified version of the questionnaire developed by Bosse and Spörer (2014) was used. Attitudes towards immigrant students and cultural diversity in the classroom were measured by a short version of the Teacher Cultural Belief Scale (Hachfeld et al. 2011). Data on self-efficacy expectations with regard to teaching in culturally diverse classes were collected using a shortened scale from the study COACTIV-R (Teacher Candidates’ Acquisition of Professional Competence During Teaching; Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung 2010). Comprehensive data on the learning environment in higher education were gathered in an internet survey carried out at the beginning of the second year of study in autumn 2011. The measurement instrument is based on a coherent conceptual framework, which covers central dimensions of the process quality of higher education, and consists of several sub-scales (Schaeper and Weiß 2016). As individual characteristics of the (prospective) teachers we included cognitive abilities (as represented by average school grades), general interest orientations (measured on the basis of Holland's (1997) RIASEC model), Big Five personality traits (using a short 11-item instrument), and global self-esteem. These individual characteristics were measured in the first and second telephone interview 2011 and 2012. To reduce bias due to missing data and to increase statistical power, we will impute missing data for the explanatory variables applying multiple imputation by chained equations (MICE). The effects of the selected predictors on (prospective) teachers’ beliefs and attitudes will be analysed by structural equation modelling.
As the empirical analyses are at their very beginning, no results can be presented here. However, we expect to shed light on the question of how teachers’ professional competencies are developed that are crucial for dealing with an increasingly diverse student body in the school system and for improving the quality of instruction. To answer this question, we use data from Germany. This might impair the generalisability of our findings. Since we do not use variables that are specific to the German system of teacher education but employ general measures of the quality of teacher education, we are confident that the results of our study are also applicable to other educational systems – at least to a certain extent. What we cannot account for is the potential influence of general cultural differences between countries, e.g., country-specific shared perceptions of and orientations towards immigrants and disabled persons. This calls for comparative studies, which includes several countries and, if possible, country-wide measures of cultural orientations. In our study it was also not possible to address the issue of whether and how teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy expectations regarding immigrant and special needs students have an impact of instructional practices. It is left to future research to examine this question by analysing the determinants of adaptive and individualised teaching techniques, for example.
Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung. (2016). Bildung in Deutschland 2016. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann. Baumert, J., & Kunter, M. (2013). The COACTIV model of teachers’ professional competence. In M. Kunter, J. Baumert, W. Blum, U. Klusmann, S. Krauss, & M. Neubrand (Eds.), Cognitive activation in the mathematics classroom and professional competence of teachers (pp. 25–48). New York et al.: Springer. Bosse, S., & Spörer, N. (2014). Erfassung der Einstellung und der Selbstwirksamkeit von Lehramtsstudierenden zum inklusiven Unterricht. Empirische Sonderpädagogik. (4), 279–299. Gräsel, C., Decristan, J., & König, J. (2017). Adaptiver Umgang mit Heterogenität im Unterricht. Unterrichtswissenschaft, 45(4), 195–206. Hachfeld, A., Hahn, A., Schroeder, S., Anders, Y., Stanat, P., & Kunter, M. (2011). Assessing teachers’ multicultural and egalitarian beliefs: The Teacher Cultural Beliefs Scale. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(6), 986–996. Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.). Odessa, Fla.: Psychological Assessment Resources. Kunter, M., Klusmann, U., Baumert, J., Richter, D., Voss, T., & Hachfeld, A. (2013). Professional competence of teachers: Effects on instructional quality and student development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 805–820. Kunter, M., & Pohlmann, B. (2015). Lehrer. In E. Wild & J. Möller (Eds.), Pädagogische Psychologie (2nd ed., pp. 261–281). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung. (2010). COACTIV-R: Eine Studie zum Erwerb professioneller Kompetenz von Lehramtsanwärtern während des Vorbereitungsdienstes – Dokumentation der Erhebungsinstrumente. Unpublished. Berlin. Schaeper, H., & Weiß, T. (2016). The conceptualization, development, and validation of an instrument for measuring the formal learning environment in higher education. In H.-P. Blossfeld, J. von Maurice, M. Bayer, & J. Skopek (Eds.), Methodological issues of longitudinal surveys: The example of the National Educational Panel Study (pp. 269–292). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Schmidt, W. H., Blömeke, S., & Tatto, M. T. (2011). Teacher education matters: A study of middle school mathematics teacher preparation in six countries. New York: Teacher College Press. Voss, T., Kleickmann, T., Kunter, M., & Hachfeld, A. (2013). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs. In M. Kunter, J. Baumert, W. Blum, U. Klusmann, S. Krauss, & M. Neubrand (Eds.), Cognitive activation in the mathematics classroom and professional competence of teachers (pp. 249–272). New York et al.: Springer. Zierer, K., & Seel, N. M. (2012). General didactics and instructional design: eyes like twins. A transatlantic dialogue about similarities and differences, about the past and the future of two sciences of learning and teaching. SpringerPlus, 1:15.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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