Diversity and the history curriculum: an action research approach to help trainee history teachers embrace cultural and ethnic diversity in the curriculum
At British Educational Research Association, United Kingdom.
01 - 04 Sep 2010.
This paper explores the issues that secondary history teachers on an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme in England encounter in attempting to incorporate more cultural and ethnic diversity into the history curriculum. It also assesses the impact that changes in their training course had on their views and pedagogical practice. Using questionnaires and scenario based interviews with three cohorts of trainee teachers, key challenges were identified, which were related to the purposes of teaching history and diversity, appropriate pedagogy and content, dealing with pupils, and teachers’ personal concerns. A framework for analysing trainees’ stances towards cultural and ethnic diversity based upon a confident-uncertain-uncomfortable continuum was developed. This operated within a socio-cultural framework that was identified and helps to explain the extent to which trainee history teachers were willing and able to embrace diversity within their teaching. The research revealed that the course had had an impact, although this was in subtle rather than marked ways, which raises further questions about what is possible within the confines of an ITE training programme and the need for additional support beyond the course.
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