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Investing in Equity and Anti-Discriminiation in ITE Courses
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Investing in Equity and Anti-Discriminiation in ITE Courses

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Presentation delivered to the Scottish Teacher Education Committee Conference 2009 by Rowena Arshad, School of Education, University of Edinburgh. The conference theme was 'What can teacher education …

Presentation delivered to the Scottish Teacher Education Committee Conference 2009 by Rowena Arshad, School of Education, University of Edinburgh. The conference theme was 'What can teacher education do to encourage inclusion'.

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  • 1. Investing in Equity and Anti- Discrimination in ITE courses Rowena Arshad School of Education University of Edinburgh Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s
  • 2. Why we need to invest (1) “I can see diversity issues are important. But how can we consider these issues of diversity without „disrupting‟ the curriculum?” BEd 4 student (May 2008) Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 3. Why we need to invest (2) “changing current practice in order to accommodate one or two Muslim girls in PE (in the gym) was ridiculous and pandering to political correctness.” Bed PE 4th year (May 2008) Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 4. Research tells us: Homogenous teaching populations are largely unprepared for teaching diverse pupil populations (Pohan, 1996; Garmon 1998; Fecho 2000; Ladson-Billings 2001; Gaine 2001 and Pearce 2003) Studies of student perceptions of issues of difference within higher education have found less reflexivity on the part of majority group students than minority group students (Reay et al 2001:865). Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue Q ui kTim e™ and a c d ecomp resso r ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 5. What else does research tell us?  Teacher expectations are pivotal in influencing pupil motivation (Ashton and Webb 1986; Good 1987; Macbeath 1998, Gillborn and Youdell 2000)  Teacher attitudes are critical when working with diverse pupil populations in developing a culture of recognition of difference as well as addressing issues of discrimination (Mac an Ghail 1988; Cline et al 2002; Arshad et al 2005, LGBT Youth Scotland 2006) Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 6. Enabling positive change…  Smith et al (1997) identified four factors as pre-requisites that assist a teacher become positive about diversity: Exposure to different cultural backgrounds Education Travel Personal experience with discrimination as a child or as an adult Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 7. Three further dispositions… Garmon (1998 and 2004) suggested three further disposition: Openness Self-awareness/self-reflectiveness A strong sense of social justice Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 8. From my own study… Activism Preparedness to take risks Strong sense of national identity Faith Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 9. Arshad and Mitchell (2008-2012) 108 responses BEd Primary 22 (21.6%) BEd PE 4 (3.9%) PGDE Primary 57 (55.9%) PGDE 19 (18.5%) (Secondary) Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 10. Emerging issues from the online questionnaire(1)  A significant majority of respondents claimed they have knowledge of UK equality legislation- particularly the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. Only 54 respondents had heard of the ASL Act 2004  At least a quarter said they understood the difference between medical and social models of practice Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 11. Emerging issues (2) The majority said they were familiar with social justice terms e.g. positive action, positive discrimination, institutional discrimination. Terms they were most familiar with are ‘additional support needs’ and ‘inclusion’. Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 12. Emerging issues (3) 36 respondents felt they would not be confident to discuss any equality issue in an informed way. Those that indicated they were able to discuss issues in an informed way were most confident to discuss issues of social class, children‟s rights, human rights and racism. Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 13. What I would like from my ITE course? “Information that will help me become more aware of how an individual’s background and context might contribute to prejudicial views” “Advice on how to deal with difficult and controversial issues as a result of difference and values conflict.” Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 14. And… “Ideas and strategies for raising issues of social justice and social inequalities with pupils” “ Becoming more informed about how social justice issues can be embedded as part of learning and teaching” “ More discussion around issues of racism, poverty, sectarianism and religious discrimination” Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 15. Preferred way of learning… Tutor-led discussions in tutorials Through placements Greater engagement with people who have experienced discrimination Least preferred: E-learning Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 16. Focus group question areas: levels of knowledge prior to entering the course how knowledge in social justice issues have been enhanced since coming on the course how informed are students on the different equality areas ( strengths, gaps) Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 17. Early emerging data…(1) For subject disciplines to address issues of SJ- students can see the relevance and will be more convinced of SJ issues e.g. within English Language lectures, consider how students with dyslexia might access text; within environmental studies- demonstrate how gender, class, race issues might apply etc.. Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue Q ui kTim e™ and a c d ecomp resso r ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 18. Early emerging data…(2) Greater opportunities to work with lecturers and professions from other disciplines e.g. social work, health, community education - integrated community school? Focus is more on disability- very little on social class, sexual orientation, race, gender, EAL Working with parents Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 19. Hollway‟s notion of „investment‟:  that for members of dominant cultures to become interested in minority cultures or alternative discourses, these members need to develop a reason to become conscious or curious about these other cultures or discourses, that is, they need to find a reason to „invest‟ time and intellect in these matters.” [Hollway, W. (1984) „Gender difference and the production of subjectivity‟ in W. Hollway, C.Unwin, C. Venn and V. Walkerdine (eds) Changing the subject (London, Methuen), 227 -263] Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 20. Jalongo et al (1995:13) suggests:  “…that outstanding teachers draw a great deal from intuition.” Jalongo, M. R., Isenberg, J. P. and Gerbracht, G. (eds.) (1995) Teachers’ Stories: From Personal Narrative to Professional Insight (San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publications). Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 21. To encourage investment… Humanise the theories Building bridges between the „self‟ and the „other‟ Balancing the epistemological and technical aspects of teaching Linear forms of learning are insufficient Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 22. Humanise the theories Praxis- theory and practice- humanising the learning (e.g. Laing lecture, networking, personal experience) Demonstrating relevance - embedding into all lectures, not just discrete equity lectures Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 23. Building bridges “walking a mile in someone else‟s moccasins”  valuing your own experiences, making connections, identifying commonalities as well as differences Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 24. Balancing the epistemological and technical aspects of teaching Intellectual rigour as well as functionalism: teacher as technician but also teacher as a professional decision maker Critical pedagogy - what is knowledge? Who constructs this knowledge? Who is it for? Is it useful? How can it be useful? What is the connection between different areas of knowledge? Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 25. “Greater „modelling‟ from lecturers on how to work in an embedded and cross-curricular manner. At the moment, issues are in silos or bolted on e.g. one lecture on X, one lecture on Y..” PGDE student April 2009 Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 26. Linear forms of learning are insufficient  Single teacher (mentor) and student teacher (mentee) model is dated  Learning from diverse others(community schools/integrated working): other professionals e.g. health, social work, community education, local vol orgs  Providing formal experiences of diversity - to those who have suffered discrimination or exclusion and those who work in an explicit anti- discriminatory way Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 27. Students as change agents Lane et al (2003) drawing from the work of other academics suggest that pre-service programmes in general do not provide sufficient attention to teachers as change agents with the result that teachers do not believe that they can really make a difference, particularly at institutional levels. Lane, S., Lacefield-Parachini, N. and Isken, J. (2003) „Developing novice teachers as change agents: Student teacher placements “against the grain”‟, Teacher Education Quarterly, Spring, 55–68. Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 28. Addressing conceptual ambiguity Recognising schools as sites of struggle Being clear about the possibilities of ASL and the limitations of the Act „…changes in language, whilst they can be important, are not sufficient to shift meaning on their own: when material practices remain unchanged, and when relations of subordination and domination are relatively untroubled, then new forms of language can become co- opted into reactionary agendas‟ Benjamin 2002:310 Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 29. For more information, please contact rowena.arshad@ed.ac.uk Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad
  • 30. For more information, please contact rowena.arshad@ed.ac.uk Q ui kTim e™ and a c Qu i kT me ™ a nd a c i d ecomp resso r de comp ress or are n eed ed t o s ee t hi s p i t r . cue ar e need ed t o se e th i pictur e. s © Rowena Arshad