In courses on teaching for social justice

In many cases
their concerns have to do with their readiness in terms of their training
prepared them.  There seems to be growing
consensus on inadequate preparation of teachers of linguistically and
culturally diverse students (Eres, 2016; Futrell, Gomez, & Bedden, 2003;
Spinthourakis & Katsillis, 2003; Cochcran-Smith, 2000). Existing ideologies
and pedagogies have been seem as inadequately preparing teachers for diversity
(Ladson-Billings, 2000; Vavrus, 2002). There has been criticism of higher
education institutions that while appearing to accept that they are charged with
future teacher preparation to address linguistically and culturally different students,
they instead execute policies that due the opposite.  They do this by placing preservice teachers in
situations that promote assimilation where the climate of existing school
cultures by default maintains the status quo (Ukpokodu 2007, 9; le Roux &
Möller, 2002). In this way, the multicultural is transformed into a superficial,
fragmentary, and poor add-on to a monocultural curriculum (le Roux &
Möller, 2002, p. 184).

University teacher
education programs have implemented intercultural and/or multicultural
preservice training programs, along with longer established foreign language learning
programs.  According to Gibson (2004)
these programs tend to be directed at: 1) ensuring cultural knowledge of
different groups; 2) addressing the beliefs and attitudes of pre-service
teachers and, 3) training in cultural- relevant pedagogical skills. The
literature also supports the need for preservice teachers to learn how to
analyze their beliefs and attitudes on cultural differences; to be able to do
so through guided introspection; and to be taught to become change agents with
skills that include critical self-analysis, self-reflection, and understanding
culture (Gay & Kirkland, 2005). This has led to an infusion of courses related
to multiculturalism/identity/diversity. While some researchers such as Zeichner
& Hoeft (1996) have suggested an infusion strategy with social justice
issues being addressed throughout the preservice teacher’s program of studies,
tends to result in little more than surface treatment of significant and
multifaceted issues. Specific courses on teaching for social justice will
provide opportunities for preservice teachers to engage in in-depth exploration
of issues and practices of equity/inequity, responsive and equitable curricular
and pedagogical practices— tracking, labelling, stereotyping, low expectation,
colour-blindness and discriminatory policies. Such courses will also focus on
helping preservice teachers develop habits of critical reflection and
questioning about access, equity, and social justice.

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