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ERIC Number: EJ1206062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0311-2543
Mixed but Not Mixing: Enabling Agency and Collaboration among a Diverse Student Teacher Cohort to Support Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning
Hamilton, Miriam; O'Dwyer, Anne
Education Research and Perspectives, v45 p41-66 2018
The rich diversity of pupils entering Irish primary schools has risen in recent years. This prompts initial teacher education (ITE) programme designers to be increasingly aware of how to best prepare and support student teachers. Consequently, it is important that such diversity be reflected among cohorts entering ITE. This research explores perspectives of a group of first year students on a primary ITE programme, in an Irish higher-level institution (HEI). The cohort comprised of traditional entrants (TE), who entered ITE directly from second-level education, with a smaller more diverse sub-group of mature students (MS), returning to formal education. Science education was used as a lens to exemplify markers of diversity and differentiation within the group. While the TE are a relatively homogenous group from social and cultural perspectives, the data indicated that the learning needs of both the TE and MS were highly differentiated. We present the complexities for teacher educators teaching a diverse and differentiated cohort, and the challenges of preparing large undergraduate cohorts in ITE. The results illustrate varied perceptions of the 'other' and assumptions about the 'other' between the MS and TE, which in this study were found to impede integration and collaboration across these discrete groups. This paper suggests that the diversity evident within and across the MS and TE groups offers scope for new understandings about diversity in ITE. We conclude that valuable opportunities exist for significant mutual learning and appreciation of difference, by structuring greater integration and opportunities for peer dialogue and collaboration between MS and TE cohorts.
University of Western Australia. 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, Perth, 6009 Australia. Tel: +61-8-6488-2388; Fax: +61-8-6488-1052; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland