Developing teachers as agents of inclusion and social justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Policies worldwide increasingly call for teachers to become ‘agents of change’, often linked to social justice agendas. However, there is little clarity about the kind of competences such agency involves or how it can be developed in teacher education. This paper draws on theories of teacher agency and inclusive pedagogy to clarify the meaning of teachers as agents of change in the context of inclusion and social justice. Inclusive practice requires collaboration of teachers and others such as families and other professionals. Agents of change work purposefully with others to challenge the status quo and develop social justice and inclusion. We discuss the possibilities of combining theories of inclusive pedagogy and teacher agency for developing teachers as agents of inclusion and social justice in teacher education. These possibilities include 1) nurturing commitment to social justice as part of teachers’ sense of purpose; 2) developing competences in inclusive pedagogical approaches, including working with others; 3) developing relational agency for transforming the conditions of teachers’ workplaces; and 4) a capacity to reflect on their own practices and environments when seeking to support the learning of all students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-351
Number of pages19
JournalEducation Inquiry
Volume6
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • teacher agency
  • inclusive pedagogy
  • educational change
  • teacher competence
  • teacher education

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