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ERIC Number: EJ819867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0332-3315
"When I Meet Them I Talk to Them": The Challenges of Diversity for Preservice Teacher Education
Leavy, Aisling
Irish Educational Studies, v24 n2-3 p159-177 Sep 2005
The homogeneity that once represented Irish society will soon be represented only in the annals of history. The influx of people of diverse nationalities, together with the increasing presence of children with physical and intellectual disabilities, and children coming from a range of non-traditional backgrounds will make our classrooms increasingly diverse over time. Together with the great opportunities that this diversity presents come a number of challenges. A major challenge lies in the preparation of our future teachers to meet the needs of and provide equitable learning opportunities for children in our classrooms. This study examines preservice teachers' exposure to and beliefs about diversity. Two instruments were administered to 286 preservice teachers (the Prior Experiences Related to Diversity, and the Personal and Professional Beliefs about Diversity Scale). The findings indicate that preservice teachers' exposure to diversity is very limited, in particular their exposure to members of the Travelling community, and refugees and asylum-seekers. High levels of tolerance and support were expressed toward religious, cultural, sexual and language diversity. Most evident was limited understanding of the roles played by gender in contributing to inequity in society and the importance of gender equitable practices in educational contexts. Another finding of concern was the contrasting ways in which ethnic disparities in academic achievement were attributed, with members of the Travelling community being viewed less positively than those from other ethnic groups. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure. )
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland