Decolonising Initial Teacher Education and anti-racist education in ‘white spaces’: Feelings of uncertainty and optimism

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Abstract

This research, conducted jointly by history and modern language teacher educators working in a higher education institution, evaluates the impact of a project to ‘Decolonise Postgraduate Teacher Education’, started in summer 2020. This project involved the creation of an action planner aimed to cultivate tutors’ and student teachers’ racial literacy and empower them to tackle racism in school. The research explores the impact and challenges of the project from the perspectives of the student teachers and tutors involved and establishes the next steps to decolonise the programme. A self-study approach was adopted, as the tutors’ and student teachers’ perceptions were recorded in diaries. One finding from the research is that the project had a positive impact on the participants’ racial literacy and allowed them to look critically at resources and curriculum. The research also identified many challenges in decolonising subjects in secondary schools; for instance the considerable variation in approaches taken by different departments and the underrepresentation of individuals from ethnically diverse communities on the course, but also in the wider teaching and teacher educator workforce. Finally, the research revealed areas where more progress was needed, for example supporting student teachers further in recognising microaggressions and dealing with racist incidents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTeacher Education Advancement Network Journal
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023

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