Comparative Education
Online ISSN : 2185-2073
Print ISSN : 0916-6785
ISSN-L : 0916-6785
School-led Initial Teacher Education Curriculum Developing Multicultural Education at Schools in the United Kingdom: A Comparative Case Analysis of SCITT (School-centred Initial Teacher Training)
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2019 Volume 2019 Issue 59 Pages 69-91


  In this era of globalisation, the spread of multicultural and multiethnic societies by population fluidity in many countries has provoked discussion of educational issues concerning diversity at schools and local communities regarding nationality, race, ethnicity, and religion. The United Kingdom, which has a long history as a multicultural and multiethnic society, has faced various changes in regards to assimilative and integrated education, multicultural education, and antiracist education from the 1960s to the 1990s. Because of the arrival of new immigrant groups, such as refugees, cultural diversity at schools has been changing. From around the 2000s, education at schools in the United Kingdom has taken a more global perspective such as community cohesion that might also be required at other schools around the world. This discussion is required for initial teacher education (ITE) courses for the development of teachers with professional knowledge and the ability to respond positively to the diverse needs of pupils in schools.

  The purpose of this paper is to explore how ITE offers curriculum and learning opportunities so that teachers correspond to cultural and social diversity at schools. This paper examines School-centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) curriculum related to multicultural education, which is one of the school-led ITE programmes in the United Kingdom. SCITT is an alternative route into the teaching profession that was introduced in 1993 against the background of efforts to improve practical teaching ability and also to deal with the shortage of teachers. Each SCITT programme is managed by a consortium composed of a number of schools. Most such network of consortiums are made up of more than 20 partnership schools. The curriculum generally consists of centre-based training and school-based training.

  The following two research questions will be addressed in this paper: 1) what kinds of programmes are provided in the SCITT curriculum in order to support the multicultural education at English schools; and 2) what kinds of learning outcomes and effects for trainee teachers are intended through offering these programmes in the curriculum? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the operational managers of five SCITT courses from northern to southern England and were asked about multicultural education in the curriculum. Several ITE lesson observations were also carried out during this study. I referred to the method of qualitative case studies aimed at a construction of common abstract ideas among cases (Merriam, 1998) so as to sketch the individual facts and common trends of the multicultural education programmes in the case analysis of SCITT. With regard to the data analysis, the QDA software MAXQDA12 was used to code segments of the text data inductively, and build conceptual categories (Sato, 2008). As a help for analysing the curriculum planning and development of the ITE curriculum, three essential conceptions: a preactive phase, an interactive phase, and a postactive phase (OECD, 2014) are employed.

  While each SCITT provider has different thoughts towards them, all ensure a variety of multicultural educational sessions and opportunities. Some examples are cited as follows. First, all schools are required to teach Religious Education (RE) at all Key Stages. Therefore, all SCITT curriculums contain useful elements of RE understanding and teaching though they show different point of views of the relationship between RE and multicultural education. Next, the National Curriculum requires EAL (English as an Additional Language) opportunities to help pupils develop their English, and to provide the support pupils’ needs to take part in all subject areas (DfE, 2013). Although all SCITT providers provide EAL sessions to their trainee teachers, they consider EAL sessions to be a part of a holistic approach (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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