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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2012v37n5.2

Abstract

In this paper we discussed the impact of ‘spaces of difference’ on teachers’ professional learning to embrace and celebrate diversity, as perceived by early childhood preservice teachers who share their opinions through online group discussions. Spaces of difference is a first year undergraduate course unit designed to support preservice teachers’ professional education to embrace and implement inclusive practice in early childhood education. Informed by Critical theoretical ideas of Bourdieu (Capital, Field, Habitus), we investigated early childhood preservice teachers’ concept of spaces of difference and their personal transformations. Results of this qualitative study suggested that teachers’ understanding of space extended and their attitude to diversity and difference grew more positive than when they initially entered the unit. We concluded that responding to student diversity and difference will no longer be a problem for teachers when they no longer overvalue selves or particular societies and cultures than others. Whether a teacher would accept and practice inclusion, is highly dependent on the social organization of the school as well as the teacher’s utilisation of habitus, capital and field.

Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2012v37n5.2