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Title: An investigation of K-6 pre-service teachers' ways of experiencing the teaching of diverse learners using phenomenography
Contributor(s): Hathaway, Tanya  (author); Fletcher, Peter  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018
DOI: 10.1007/s10671-017-9220-4
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Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify pre-service teachers' ways of experiencing the teaching of diverse learners and to determine the aspects that are educationally critical in gaining a deeper understanding of teaching. We approached the question of teachers' experiences in the context of the training of K-6 primary teachers, which takes place at university level. From survey data gathered, three dimensions of variation described the phenomenon associated with teaching and learner diversity: 'learnerdiversity' in the context of the classroom; 'culture' in the context of learner diversity; and responsiveteaching actions' in the context of learner diversity and culture. Each dimension comprised a continuum of awareness, and three distinctly different ways of seeing the phenomenon were identified. To the least sensitive, diversity was recognised as visible group difference and was subsequently either avoided or ignored. With an expansion of awareness, pre-service teachers recognised visible group difference that was accommodated or sustained and driven by the need to comply with curricula. At the most sensitive end of the scale, diversity was recognised as the inclusion of invisible difference and used to strengthen and enrich learning. The data revealed that pre-service teachers' different ways of seeing and construing the teaching of diverse learners was shaped by their different ways of experiencing school-based learning. This study highlights the importance of preparing teachers with the awareness to appropriately discern difference among learners in order to negotiate the pedagogical challenges related to the impact of learner diversity.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 17(2), p. 83-104
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-1723
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390305 Professional education and training
390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160302 Pedagogy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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