Addressing Social Difference with Prospective Teachers Who Want 'To Make a Difference'

November 2007

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 35, Issue 4 November 2007, pages 367 – 385

This paper focuses on a cohort of B.Ed. students' understandings about social difference and social justice as recorded in their professional journals in the first semester of third year. It shows that their reasons for choosing teaching as a career, reflections on their school experiences and discussions about future students are grounded in the culture of individualism that is commonplace in Australian society.
However, some also acknowledge that class, race, gender and ethnicity shape their lives and their future students' worlds. Furthermore, most were prepared to engage with social justice in their professional journals.

Keeping these findings in mind, the paper identifies discursive spaces where teacher educators might work with prospective teachers to promote critical reflection about social difference and facilitate a commitment to social justice in education.

Updated: Jan. 10, 2008