Teaching in Culturally Diverse Contexts: What Knowledge about 'Self' and 'Others' Do Teachers Need?

Feb. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 35, Issue 1 February 2009 , pages 33 - 45

The paper draws on data from a small-scale qualitative study conducted in Australia.
This study investigated how pre-service teachers engaged with students from culturally diverse backgrounds during practicum. It also explored how they understood their own ethnic identities.

The findings suggest that pre-service teachers have simplistic understandings of their students' cultures and limited understandings of how their own identities are constituted through, and by, ethnicity. Such limited knowledge about the 'ethnic self' and the 'ethnic other' has implications for the development of multicultural pedagogies.

The paper raises concerns for teacher education including the need to provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to understand the 'ethnic self' in relation to the 'ethnic other' through ongoing critical reflection.

Updated: Apr. 30, 2009