Turning the tide: Student teachers and pedagogical perspectives of multilingual primary schools in Scotland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Preparation for teaching in Scotland requires students to work towards a number of standards which specifies the range of professional knowledge, understanding and values that trainee teachers should work towards during their programme of study. One of the twenty-four benchmark statements requests students to demonstrate their ability to respond appropriately to socio-cultural and linguistic differences among children and young people. However, as students enter the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme they are constrained by their lived experience and view of the world. That is to say, in the Scottish educational context, overriding assimilationist ideologies means English monolingual discourses prevail. In order to seek insights into pre-service teachers’ attitudes and responses towards multilingual classrooms a questionnaire was administered to students participating on the postgraduate primary education programme at the University of Edinburgh. The findings revealed that whilst students appreciated children’s bilingual skills, they also held a number of misconceptions regarding additional language learning. Also to emerge from the data was an overwhelming response that mainstream schools were not considered to be the
place to develop minority children’s first languages. Finally some suggestions are
made as to how teacher education can adequately prepare prospective teachers for the linguistically diverse nature of the schools in which they will work and the children and young people they will support.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Awareness in Teacher Education
Subtitle of host publicationCultural-political and socio-educational dimensions
EditorsStephan Breidbach, Daniela Elsner, Andrea Young
Place of PublicationFrankfurt
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Group
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-653-00669-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-61464-8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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