Critical perspectives on perceptions and practices of diversity in education
The term diversity has been a topic of discussion in educational research and has received increased attention in recent years. Often, the focus has been on the use of the term at policy level. In this article, teacher educators’ and school teachers’ perceptions of diversity in education and self-perceived practices of work with diversity are explored. Five teacher educators and 87 school teachers participated in the study. Interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data. The findings indicate that teacher educators and school teachers discuss and reflect on diversity at different levels of operationalization, that they rarely associate socioeconomic and structural issues with the topic of diversity, and that they hardly mention national minorities and the Norwegian indigenous people as part of their understanding and work with diversity. This study suggests stable and long-term arenas for discussion and reflection for both teacher educators and school teachers. Further, the need for a more critical perspective on diversity in education, and an emphasis on learning from historical experiences with education and minorities is needed.
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