Learning to teach for social justice as a cross cultural concept: findings from three countries
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractAll over the world, countries are paying close attention to how teachers are recruited, selected, and prepared for the nation’s schools. Increasingly, teachers are expected to teach all students to high standards at the same time that they play a major role in meeting rising expectations regarding social equity. Preparing teachers for these challenges is among the most pressing and complex tasks in teacher education. In response to these and other challenges, some initial teacher education programs now include among their major goals preparing teachers to teach for social justice, work toward equity and access for all students, and/or challenge inequities in existing educational systems and policies. This article focuses on three initial teacher education pro-grams—one each in the United States, New Zealand, and Ireland. Although these programs differ from one another in many ways, they also share some goals related to teaching for social justice and equity. The article examines longitudinal survey data regarding teacher candidates’ scores on the “Learning to Teach for Social Justice-Beliefs” scale, which was designed to measure candidates’ endorsement of beliefs consistent with the concept of teaching for social justice. For each of the three research sites, the article analyzes: (a) demograph-ic and teacher quality contexts, (b) initial teacher education program goals related to social justice/social equi-ty, and (c) the results of surveys administered to teacher candidates at entry to and exit from the programs. The article concludes with discussion of learning to teach for social justice as a cross-cultural concept.