Educating Teachers for Diversity

Meeting the Challenge

image of Educating Teachers for Diversity
This publication summarises key research findings which can be used to redesign initial and continuing teacher education to help practitioners effectively teach diverse students. It looks at challenges teachers face in OECD countries and presents a range of policies and practices used in various contexts, from countries with long histories of diversity to those with more recent experiences. The key role of evaluation – of teachers, schools and systems – is emphasised. Educating Teachers for Diversity: Meeting the Challenge asks how these insights can inspire continuing educational reform for our changing classrooms, with a special focus on key questions for research, policy and practice.


Classroom practices for teaching diversity

an example from Washington State (United States)

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

It is difficult to identify classroom practices for teaching cultural diversity that could be applicable across national and cultural contexts. So much weight in research on ethnic and cultural diversity is given to the environmental, sociological and historical influences which mitigate learning that “universal” strategies are almost unthinkable. The author proposes that teacher education programmes focus on principles to guide classroom practices rather than specific practices themselves. Prospective teachers can be taught how to translate these principles into effective strategies for their particular classroom settings. Four principles are discussed: (i) how beliefs about diversity shape instructional behaviours; (ii) using multiple perspectives in learning about diversity; (iii) multiple techniques to achieve common learning outcomes; and (iv) developing skills to cross borders between different cultural systems. Specific examples are provided to illustrate what these principles look like in actual instructional practice, but the emphasis is on encouraging teachers to develop their own.


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