University of Chester (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 1947-1956
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0540
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
This research has been triggered by the consistent references to the increase in the number of children from ethnically diverse population in schools in England and lack of confidence and preparedness of teachers to teach children from diverse backgrounds. Government commissioned Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) survey encouraged them to respond to questions related to their preparedness and confidence to teach children from all ethnic backgrounds and who have English as additional language, one year after gaining their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The aim of this research is to explore the perspectives and challenges of students (referred to as Associate teachers (ATs)) on teacher training programmes related to their knowledge and understanding of inclusion and diversity from the teacher training programmes. This research examined the perceptions of ATs on their final year of the three-year degree on initial teacher education programme and some teacher educators teaching this cohort of students who are programme leaders, year leaders, and other staff, who provide enriching experiences related to diversity.

The objectives of this study are:
- To explore the current practice within Undergraduate programmes in relation to inclusion and diversity, in the undergraduate teacher training programmes.
- To exploring perceptions of (final year) Associate Teachers in relation to their understanding and experiences of diversity whilst on their programme.
- To document the innovative and evolving practices that embeds diversity and inclusion within the teacher training programmes.

Data was collected through a survey consisting of open questionnaires for the teacher educators and ATs were requested to volunteer to respond to questions on an online forum through a survey. The online survey was kept open for a short window of few weeks to enable students to respond in their own time and to keep their identity anonymous.

The responses provided by students and teacher educators will be analysed using qualitative data analysis applying the three steps - Developing and Applying Codes, identifying themes, patterns and relationships and summarising the data. The anticipated themes following the data analysis will relate to the wide range of experiences of students on the teacher training programme and how it has enabled them to gain an understanding of the concepts of inclusion and diversity, and their confidence to teach children from diverse backgrounds. The themes will also reveal the aspects of the course – teaching, experiences in the classroom and or placement experiences that influenced their confidence to teach children from diverse ethnic backgrounds. In addition, their concerns and apprehensions relating to their ability to perform well as a teacher to children from wide range of backgrounds will be indicated. The conclusions will be drawn relating to perspectives of ATs and teacher educators on the significant impact of the teacher training programme on preparing them to teach children from diverse ethnic backgrounds as well as identifying the key challenges and barriers faced.
Inclusion and diversity perceptions, Teacher education, children from ethnically diverse backgrounds, curriculum.