• Exploring Inclusion and Diversity within Undergraduate Teacher Training Programmes in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; McGrath, Sarah; Chaudhary, Diksha; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-31)
      This research has been triggered by the consistent references to the increase in the number of children from ethnically diverse population in schools in England and lack of confidence and preparedness of teachers to teach children from diverse backgrounds. A government commissioned Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) survey encouraged them to respond to questions related to their preparedness and confidence to teach children from all ethnic backgrounds and who have English as additional language, one year after gaining their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The aim of this research is to explore the perspectives and challenges of students (referred to as Associate teachers (ATs)) on teacher training programmes related to their knowledge and understanding of inclusion and diversity from the teacher training programmes. This research examined the perceptions of ATs on their final year of the three-year degree on initial teacher education programme and some teacher educators teaching this cohort of students who are programme leaders, year leaders, and other staff, who provide enriching experiences related to diversity. Data was collected through a survey consisting of open questionnaires for teacher educators and ATs were requested to volunteer to respond to questions on an online forum. The online survey was kept open for a short window of four weeks to enable ATs to respond in their own time and ensure anonymity. The responses provided by ATs and Teacher Educators (TEs) have been analysed using qualitative data analysis applying the three steps - Developing and Applying Codes, identifying themes, patterns and relationships and summarizing the data. The data resulted in four themes : concepts and contexts of diversity, experiences on the programme, preparedness to teach and challenges. The ATs and TEs articulate that there was significant impact of the teacher training programme on preparing them to teach children from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They acknowledged the lack of diversity in the placements to teach children from diverse backgrounds as one of the key challenges and barriers faced.