The diversity of student populations globally is increasing more rapidly than the diversity of the teaching workforce. Concerns are that beginning teachers are ill-prepared to meet the needs of the diversity of students in their classrooms. This lack of preparedness has been partially attributed to inadequate preparation within teacher education programs. We advocate that preservice teachers need to understand how their prior intercultural experiences can be utilised to better prepare them for teaching diverse groups of learners. This qualitative study (n=40) draws on Hammer’s (2009) Intercultural Development Continuum to explore the impact that these experiences have on shaping preservice teachers as teachers of diversity. We use the data to illustrate the breadth of positioning on the IDC of these preservice teachers. Findings indicate that prior quality engagement with diversity over time enhances preservice teachers’ intercultural competence. We describe how teacher education can better prepare preservice teachers for engaging diverse learners.
Beutel, D. A.,
& Tangen, D.
The Impact of Intercultural Experiences on Preservice Teachers’ Preparedness to Engage with Diverse Learners.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(3).