South African Journal of Higher Education

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The attitudes, beliefs and anticipated actions of student teachers towards

S Vandeyar


Recognizing that teacher commitments are consequential for classroom practice, this research seeks to understand the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes among student teachers towards diversity in their classroom. Using evocative case studies drawn from everyday classroom practice, this study draws out the existing understandings and commitments of this group of white South African student teachers on a subject (diversity in education) that continues to occupy center stage in policy reforms twelve years after the legal termination of apartheid. There are three major research findings emanating from this study: first, that students do not enter pre-service training as ‘blank slates' with respect to diversity questions; second, that white student teachers are diverse in their attitudes, beliefs and strategies for dealing with diversity; and third, that teacher education program designs, correctly implemented, can challenge and change preexisting attitudes and beliefs of student teachers towards difference in South African classrooms.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 22 (3) 2008: pp. 692-707
AJOL African Journals Online