Promoting cohesion, challenging expectations: educating the teachers of tomorrow for race equality and diversity in 21st century schools.

Grant type: Themed funding: Teacher Educators for the 21st Century
Round: Teacher Educators for the 21st Century
Amount awarded £15,000.00
Completed: January 2012
Leader(s): Mr Peter Hick
Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University
Contact Email: p.hick@mmu.ac.uk
Contact phone: 0161 247 2417
Partners:
Dr Lorna Roberts
Research Fellow, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Rowena Arshad
Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh
Start Date: 1 March 2010
End Date: 30 September 2011
Interim report received: 21 December 2010
Final report received: 11 January 2012

How well are new teachers prepared to deal with race equality issues in schools?  Not very well, to judge by surveys of New Qualified Teachers.  Yet at a time when the Black and Minority Ethnic heritage school-age population is increasing in our schools – and is in fact already a majority in some major cities – race equality needs to be given greater priority in teacher education.

There have been a number of studies of race equality issues in teacher education in the UK, for example investigating the experiences of BME students or of white students, or presenting case studies of practice in particular institutions or curriculum areas.  However this study is one of the first to look at teacher educators themselves, how they feel race equality is dealt with in teacher education and how it could be developed.

Researchers the University of Edinburgh and Manchester Metropolitan University interviewed 31 lecturers in teacher education in Scotland and England.  This collaboration offered contrasting contexts of relatively monocultural and more diverse settings.

The data supported previous research in this field in highlighting the need to embed race equality throughout the curriculum in Initial Teacher Education.  A particular finding from this project is that teacher educators need time to discuss and reflect together on the complexities of race, and its intersection with other equality issues such as class and gender.  Such opportunities were prioritised over the provision of information through websites or resource ‘toolkits’.

The project team discussed their findings with colleagues at seminars in Edinburgh and Manchester, and presented their findings at several national and international research conferences and policy and practitioner forums.