n Journal of Educational Studies - Cultural diversity : an imperative in initial teacher education curriculum




Globally, experienced and novice teachers struggle to handle learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. South African teachers also deal with learners who differ based on factors such as race, gender, socio-economic status, religion and culture. Therefore, it is necessary to equip student teachers with knowledge and skills of functioning in culturally diverse school contexts. While this might be happening on the ground, there is dearth of research in South Africa that reports on whether cultural diversity is incorporated in teacher education curriculum and the impact it has on the growth and development of student teachers. Yet, during teaching practice and when they become certified, student teachers are expected to function effectively in school contexts with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. In this qualitative case study, incorporation of cultural diversity in a teacher education curriculum was investigated, using semi-structured, open-ended focus-group interviews with teacher educators and student teachers. The diversity pedagogy theory informed this study. Results revealed that although the student teachers identified a number of implementation challenges, teacher educators felt that they incorporated the theory of cultural diversity in the teacher education curriculum. The author of this study recommends that teaching of cultural diversity should be made a national and global teacher-education imperative.


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