How does initial teacher education research frame the challenge of preparing future teachers for student diversity in schools? A systematic review of literature

Leonie Rowan, Terri Bourke, Lyra L’Estrange*, Jo Lunn Brownlee, Mary Ryan, Susan Walker, Peter Churchward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Teachers consistently identify working with “diverse learners” as challenging. This raises questions about how teacher educators conceptualize and enact preparation of teachers for heterogeneous populations. This article provides a systematic review of literature relating to both “teacher education” and “diverse learners,” to identify knowledge claims regarding the way this “problem” and possible “solutions” should be framed. Analyzing 209 peer-reviewed journal articles (2009–2019), the article identifies groups most frequently described as diverse, three qualitatively different clusters of claims regarding how teachers can be prepared for diversity, and factors identified as constraining preparation. Analysis reveals a literature broad in focus—referencing many groups—but shallow in depth. The majority describe strategies for teaching about or catering to diversity with only few considering teaching for diversity. There is also limited engagement with specialist literature relating to concepts such as gender or race and little attention to teacher educators’ own knowledge. The article concludes with implications for teacher educators, arguing for enhanced critical epistemic reflexivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-158
Number of pages47
JournalReview of Educational Research
Volume91
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • initial teacher education
  • teacher educators
  • diversity in schools
  • diverse learners
  • schools
  • social justice

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