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Interrogating the transformative promise: Singaporean teachers’ perspectives of diversity and multicultural education
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Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 8-12 April 2011
This qualitative study attends to six Singaporean in-service teachers’ experiences of diversity and understanding of multicultural education to illuminate the influence of national policies and narratives on teachers’ perceptions and practice. Analysis of interview data and written responses indicated that participants echoed much of the state’s rigid categorizations of racial diversity. Although three of the participants subscribed to transformative multicultural principles, all six teachers enacted pedagogies that rarely challenged statal narratives that emphasized racial harmony and utilitarian, pragmatic educational policies.
The authors discuss findings in light of socio-political constraints faced by Singapore teachers and forward implications for teacher education.
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