Normalising Difference in Teacher Education: national and international perspectives

Venue: The Outreach Centre, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ

Time: Friday 26th October 2018 – 9.30a.m. to 4.30p.m.

Attendance is free.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please contact: Yvonne Foley ( to register your place, or call 07879 454969 / 0131 651 6650

The global movement of people across national and international boundaries has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL) in school contexts. Educational initiatives across Anglophone countries have sought to ensure non-discriminatory policies and practices for such pupils, who do not speak the dominant language of the country in which they now live.  Despite these initiatives, research shows that teachers feel inadequately prepared to acknowledge, understand, value and build on the social, linguistic and cultural capital brought into school contexts in this era of increased cultural and linguistic diversity (e.g. Lucas, 2011; Walton and Osman, 2018). Research has called for teacher education to acknowledge and place value on these various forms of difference and to recognize the need to move away from the assumptions of normativity in any educational context (Villegas et al, 2018; Walton and Osman, 2018). The question then arises of how we can enable teacher education to be sufficiently responsive to difference in terms of race, class, gender, language, ethnicity, and religion, which have become defining features of today’s classrooms.  This symposium provides an international comparative perspective in relation to these issues across four Anglophone countries: Australia, Canada, the US and the UK.  Each presenter will draw on their own research to illustrate national approaches and trends.

Invited speakers include: Professor Linda Harklau (United States), Associate Professor Angela Scarino (Australia) and Professor Kelleen Toohey (Canada).

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