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Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Abstract

This study examines how six teacher candidates in one U.S. based teacher preparation program articulate understandings of critical multicultural education concepts after a field experience in a study abroad program in New Zealand. Teacher candidates were interviewed about their understandings of culture, privilege, and social inequality. Field placements were in high poverty elementary schools with high numbers of linguistic and ethnic minority students. Teacher candidate responses revealed development of cultural appreciation but a lack of engagement with issues related to privilege and social inequality. Teacher candidates further had difficulty articulating issues of power and systemic privilege enacted either in the New Zealand context, or in their home cultural context in the United States. This study calls for more explicit support for teacher candidates as they grapple with recognizing and practicing a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in order to realize the potential of diverse study abroad field experiences for teacher preparation.

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