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‘Purpose’ as a way of helping white trainee history teachers engage with diversity issues

Harris, R. ORCID: (2012) ‘Purpose’ as a way of helping white trainee history teachers engage with diversity issues. Education Sciences, 2 (4). pp. 218-241. ISSN 2227-7102

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/educsci2040218


Based on a three year action research project, this study examines one strand of that research, namely the impact that ‘purpose’, i.e. exploring the range of rationales for studying a subject, has in helping white trainee teachers embrace cultural and ethnic diversity within their teaching. Through ‘purpose’ trainees explored different reasons why history should be taught (and by implication what content should be taught and how it should be taught) and the relationship of these reasons to diversity. Focusing on ‘purpose’ appears to have a positive impact on many trainees from white, mono-ethnic backgrounds, enabling them to bring diversity into the school curriculum, in this case history teaching. It offers one way to counter concerns about issues of ‘whiteness’ in the teaching profession and by teaching a more relevant curriculum has a potential positive impact on the achievement of students from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:30143
Uncontrolled Keywords:teacher education; diversity; purpose; whiteness; history teaching
Additional Information:Special Issue: History Curriculum, Geschichtsdidaktik, and the Problem of the Nation


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