The impact of postgraduate initial teacher education on beginning teachers' professional preparedness to cater for diverse learners : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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This thesis investigates the impact of an exemplary post-graduate initial teacher education (ITE) programme, the MTchgLn, on beginning teachers’ professional preparedness to cater for diverse learners. In comparison to similar cohorts in other OECD countries, a huge gap exists between high-achieving Pākeha students and low-achieving 1 priority learners (Education Review Office, 2012; OECD, 2015). With existing studies mapping the exemplary ITE terrain, the research field is now moving towards building a sounder basis on which to benchmark equity-centred ITE programme design. For this purpose, a mixed-methods approach was adopted to assess the effectiveness of the programme on the Graduate Teachers’ (GTs) practice. Twenty-five GTs completed an online questionnaire to assess their perceptions of confidence to teach all learners, as well as to assess their perceptions of the value of the programme in enabling them to teach all learners. Interviews were then conducted with 12 GTs and four Lead Teachers (LTs) to better understand the GTs’ responses and to investigate the LTs’ perceptions of the GTs’ professional preparedness. The present study findings indicate that most GTs were confident in developing the professional standards required for the profession and felt that their learning was supported by the programme’s innovations: (i) extended clinical placements in partner schools; (ii) evidence-informed inquiry; (iii) exemplary school visits; (iv) culturally responsive practices; and (v) community placements. Likewise, all the LTs felt that the GTs were professionally prepared with the necessary skills and competencies to teach diverse students effectively and improve their outcomes. This study has provided evidence of the positive contributions of an equity-centred ITE programme’s design to create an informative learning experience for the GTs to ensure informed links between research and practice, driven by equity and social justice. Implications based on these findings are considered for ITE educators and education policy makers to respond to the challenges of today’s multicultural education by prioritizing equity.
Appendix A was removed for copyright reasons, but may be accessed via its source (Aitken et al., 2013, Fig 1 p. 20).
Teachers, Training of, Educational equalization, Minorities, Education, Effective teaching, New Zealand