Diversity and educational disparities: the role of teacher education

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Abstract:

The most pressing problem facing education today is the persistent pattern of educational disparity which disproportionately affects indigenous peoples, populations of colour, those with lower socio.economic status, and new migrants. This disparity is exacerbated by a continuing lack of diversity among the teaching force, which tends to engage in pedagogic practices more appropriate to monocultural populations. This chapter suggests solutions drawn from "Te Kotahitanga: Improving the Educational Achievement of M.ori students in Mainstream Schools", a government‐ funded professional development and research project underway in 50 secondary schools in New Zealand. Six main challenges identified include: (i) the hegemony of the status quo, (ii) the primacy of teachers' positioning, (iii) the need for evidence, (iv) the role of power in knowledge construction, (v) the disconnect between pre.service and in.service education, and (vi) the fundamental importance of research in the areas of teaching and teacher education.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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