Issues in Multicultural Education: Pre‐Service Teacher Education

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [New York University]On: 05 November 2014, At: 00:00Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>South Pacific Journal of Teacher EducationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>Issues in Multicultural Education: PreService TeacherEducationLois Foster aa La Trobe UniversityPublished online: 02 Jun 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: Lois Foster (1987) Issues in Multicultural Education: PreService Teacher Education, South Pacific Journal ofTeacher Education, 15:1, 11-28, DOI: 10.1080/0311213870150103</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representationsor warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Anyopinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not theviews of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should beindependently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses,actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoevercaused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Issues in Multicultural Education:Pre-Service Teacher EducationLOIS FOSTER, La Trobe University</p><p>The notion of Australia as a multicultural society is very much a concept of the'seventies' and 'eighties'. While its use is becoming more common, the meaningattached to the term as well as the nature of its reality remain very much a matterof interpretation and debate. For one influential educationist (Falk, 1973, p. 13)there is a basic question to be posed: 'Is the concept of a multi-cultural Australiaa paradox or a contradiction?', while a former federal Minister of Immigrationand one-time Commissioner for Community Relations (Grassby, 1973, p. 5) hasasserted that Australia's pluralistic society can be conceptualized as 'the familyof nations' in which'. . . the overall attachment to the common good need notimpose a sameness on the outlook or activity of each member . . . ' .</p><p>What is not open to question is the presence of large numbers of people in oursociety who live in more than one world organized and presented through thematrix of their 'ethnic'1 language and culture, and yet who are catered for by aneducation system which has been largely mono-lingual/cultural. It is only since1970 that there have been 'system' policies and practices which have recognizedthe linguistic heterogeneity of the school population, particularly in the capitalcities of eastern Australia which have absorbed the bulk of the influx of peoplefrom large-scale sponsored immigration since World War II. The question oflanguage has been 'centre-stage' during this period. The difficulties in the acqui-sition of English experienced by children of non-English-speaking backgroundwas the justification for the Child Migrant Education Programme establishedby the Commonwealth government in 1970 and continued (even expanded) nowunder the auspices of the Schools Commission2, to the present day. Much laterhas come some emphasis on languages other than English as a result of con-ferences and reports but there has been no extensive educational policy on thisissue comparable to CMEP3, until the 1980s, with statements on communitylanguage provision in schools, for example in Victoria, becoming a priorityissue4.</p><p>These developments raise issues for those organizations concerned withteacher education. What programs are most appropriate for potential teacherswhose careers could extend into the next century? If there is to be substantialrecognition of ethnic heterogeneity in our society, one aspect of which is lan-guage diversity and another cultural (and structural?) pluralism, what prep-aration can or should be made available in universities or colleges of advancededucation?</p><p>The South Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 15, No. 1, April 1987</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>New</p><p> Yor</p><p>k U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 00:</p><p>00 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>12 LOIS FOSTER</p><p>Teacher educators require a great deal of information in order to make thedecisions which questions of this type imply. There is one source of such infor-mation which is largely untapped. Data might be derived from empirical evi-dence of language practices and attitudes of student populations in colleges anduniversities because language attitudes, indicators of internalized group valuestowards the posited multicultural reality of Australian society, may predictteacher behaviour in multicultural classrooms (adapted from Cooper and Fish-man, 1974, pp. 5-19). It may be, however, that decision-making has been or ispotentially influenced (and constrained) more by directives/recommendationsappearing in official reports on teacher education. Whatever the appropriatesource of knowledge, there is little hard evidence to suggest that teacher educa-tion has experienced significant change in structure, content or ideology as aresponse or an initiative to support multiculturalism in Australia.</p><p>This paper is concerned to identify some of the issues in the lag in the develop-ment of 'multicultural' teacher education. The argument is based quite overtlyon the desirability of such a changed orientation. The field of pre-serviceteacher education is the focus here; this is not to deny that in-service teachereducation should come under similar scrutiny. The argument on the slow de-velopment of 'multicultural' teacher education will be developed by examiningperspectives from the system (for example, in the form of official reports onteacher education5), from teacher educators (for example, conceptualisations ofneeded changes in teacher education) and from teacher trainees themselves (forexample, results obtained from studies conducted with Diploma in Educationstudents at La Trobe University). These data will be analysed against a back-ground of the present state of teacher education, on the one hand, and, on theother, developments in multicultural education at the school level. Specific ex-amples to illustrate these matters will be drawn more frequently from theVictorian scene.</p><p>THE DEVELOPMENT OF 'MULTICULTURAL* TEACHER EDUCATIONSYSTEM PERSPECTIVES</p><p>By system is meant statements appearing under the auspices of official bodiessuch as the Schools Commission or from inquiries established by Governmentor organs of government such as public service departments. Such statementsmay be used to shape policy and hence have a peculiar legitimacy (whatever theirvalidity or consistency) and are subject to rapid and wide dissemination.</p><p>The Galbally Report (1978) highlighted the function of education in en-couraging a multicultural attitude in Australia by facilitating the retention ofcultural heritage and the evolution of intercultural understanding among differ-ent ethnic groups:</p><p>We feel that the schools are the key element in delivering such a goodand we have proposed an allocation of $5m over the next three years todevelop multicultural education programs, and, a co-ordination ofeffort by the Commonwealth. For students training in professions we</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>New</p><p> Yor</p><p>k U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 00:</p><p>00 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>ISSUES IN MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION 13</p><p>also recommend components of courses on cultural backgrounds of theethnic groups, (p. 12)</p><p>Just how the teachers might be prepared for such a role was less clearly stated.The only recommendations which might have had direct relevance to teachereducation were the following:</p><p>The Government should refer the need for appropriate pre-service edu-cation of all adult migrant teachers to the Inquiry into Teacher Edu-cation . . . (p. 16).A small committee of educators experienced in areas of cultural andracial differences should be appointed to consult with State, Common-wealth and non-government authorities and to draw up within threemonths proposals as to how the recommended S5m for multiculturaleducation can be used most effectively . . . (p. 26).The Tertiary Education Commission should approach all tertiary insti-tutions with a view to having components in the cultural background ofthe ethnic groups included in appropriate professional courses . . .(P-26).</p><p>The National Inquiry into Teacher Education (1980) favoured the embeddingof teacher education in the contemporary social context. To facilitate this, theCommittee recommended that:</p><p>R6.3 Pre-service teacher education courses should be structured andtaught so that students develop the appropriate skills and atti-tudes to be effective teachers in a multicultural society, (p. xxviii)</p><p>R8.9 Specialist teachers for ESL, CL and BE programs should betrained in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of pupils inschools. Appropriate teacher education programs, where they donot exist, ought to be fully operative by the end of the 1980s,(p. xxx)</p><p>and that all pre-service students undertake a set of studies in Australian societyand culture. The suggestion made was that such a core study should enableteachers to be aware of and have some understanding of: Australia as a multicul-tural as well as a multi-ethnic society; the diversity of the socio-economic andcultural backgrounds from which children come; the basic social structures andvalues of our society; the rights, needs and responsibilities of minority groups;Australia's place and role in regional and international affairs; the forces andfactors making for stability and change in society, including technology, em-ployment patterns, demographic factors, economic development, and themedia; individual and social ways of adapting to change; and the interrelation-ship of education with the family and with other social agencies and processes.(P. 121)</p><p>The Inquiry has moved beyond general normative directives. The incursioninto curriculum planning has, at least, the virtue of specificity.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>New</p><p> Yor</p><p>k U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 00:</p><p>00 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>14 LOIS FOSTER</p><p>The Victorian Inquiry into Teacher Education (1980) identified three mainareas of concern and made recommendations on each. The first area was teacherselection.</p><p>R15.2 . . . demonstrated experience in ethnic or Aboriginal affairs,knowledge of other languages and personal qualities relevant tomulticultural education should be considered in the selection ofstudent teachers . . . (p. 267)</p><p>The second was course content.R15.3 . . . all teacher education courses, including those for pre-school</p><p>and special education, should include compulsory culturalawareness courses as well as courses in the investigation of thelanguage difficulties of non-native speakers of English, andlanguage-learning strategies, and give some experience with com-munity languages other than English . . . (p. 268)</p><p>R15.4 . . . there should be consultation programmes in the teaching ofcommunity languages to avoid duplication of expertise,materials and other resources, (p. 269)</p><p>R15.5 . . . the initial employment of teachers to teach English as asecond language should be contingent upon the possession offormal qualifications in Teaching English as a Second Language(TESL) . . . )p. 270)</p><p>And the third, course organization.R15.6 . . . exchange and secondment arrangements be organized be-</p><p>tween teacher education institutions and schools systems in orderto use to advantage recent school-based experience, both inteaching English as a second language and community languagesteaching, (p. 271)</p><p>This Inquiry, while sharing a common approach to multicultural teacher edu-cation, outstrips its stance with the National Inquiry. The recommendations onthree particular foci enable considerable direction to be given to the suggestedpreferred changes sought in modes of teacher education for a multiculturalsociety.</p><p>The Commonwealth Schools Commission (CSC), whilst having only an in-direct influence on pre-service teacher education has openly declared itsposition on multiculturalism and multicultural education. For example, in itsReport of 1981:</p><p>5.117 The Commission is unreserved in its support for multiculturalpolicy within Australia and for a vigorous program of implemen-tation (p. 115)</p><p>The Commission has suggested the practical steps to be taken in giving ex-pression to its support. The pragmatic orientation is evident in the action identi-fied as a precursor to the realisation of a multicultural policy.</p><p>5.127 In pursuit of the policy of multiculturalism the Commission will:</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>New</p><p> Yor</p><p>k U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 00:</p><p>00 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>ISSUES IN MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION 15</p><p>(a) foster a general program of multiculturalism in all primaryand secondary schools;</p><p>(b) promote a wide range of activities designed to assist in thedetermination of priorities and options;</p><p>(c) give backing to an 'as-of-right' policy of language main-tenance for children whose home language is not English;</p><p>(d) encourage community language teaching in all schools;(e) more accurately assess the number of students in and the</p><p>demand for ethnic schools and classes; and(0 establish a support program for part-time ethnic schools.</p><p>5.128 The Commission recommends:(a) that funds be made available for a multicultural program in</p><p>education . . . ;(b) that this program encompass the teaching of Aboriginal lan-</p><p>guages and cultures; and(c) that the Commonwealth mount a general inquiry into present</p><p>and desirable language teaching policy in Australia, as amatter of national concern, (p. 119)</p><p>Although the consequences of such Commission action for teachers are con-siderable, they are left implicit in these statements and, apart from concernsnoted about the supply of qualified teachers, no further attention is given toteacher education.</p><p>The Schools Commission (1985), however, has signalled more recent interestin teacher education. The following appeared in a recent Commission Report.</p><p>1.12 Professional Development: . . . A recent study carried out for theCommissi...</p></li></ul>


View more >