Making A Difference: Moving beyond the Superficial Treatment of Diversity

Nov. 22, 2008

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 36, Issue 4, November 2008 , pages 261 - 275

As populations in contemporary Western societies grow more diverse, the need for teachers to better understand and work with difference productively becomes increasingly critical (Allard & Santoro, 2006; D'Cruz, 2007). However, the literature on teacher education shows that historically, teacher education programs have aimed to address diversity with add-on or piecemeal approaches, with little success (McDonald, 2005). Moreover, some authors (e.g. Lortie, 1975) have argued that “the predispositions teacher education students bring to teaching are a much more powerful socializing influence than either pre-service education or later socialization in the workplace” (Johnson, 2002, p. 154).
This article investigates research and scholarship in this area. The article argues that we must move beyond the fragmented and superficial treatment of diversity if we are to encourage dispositions in all pre-service teachers that are more closely aligned with a recognitive view of social justice.

Updated: Feb. 02, 2009