The Politics of Discomfort: Unsettling Conversations about Preservice Teachers’ Engagement with Socioeconomic Disadvantage

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dc.contributor.advisor Mutch, C en
dc.contributor.advisor Stephenson, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Carpenter, V en
dc.contributor.advisor Airini en
dc.contributor.author Miller, Jennifer en
dc.date.accessioned 2014-07-13T22:02:26Z en
dc.date.issued 2014 en
dc.identifier.citation 2014 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/22460 en
dc.description.abstract National statistics indicate that approximately 25 percent or 270,000 New Zealand children live in poverty (Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, 2012). As New Zealand school populations reflect the nation’s widening social and economic disparities, this thesis positions rising levels of inequality as a critical concern for the field of teacher education. Despite mounting evidence of the effects of socioeconomic inequality on students, schools, and communities, there are few studies that explore how, why, and in what ways preservice teachers are prepared for teaching in New Zealand’s low decile schools. In contrast, much of the existing research that explores the intersection between disadvantage and teacher education focuses on student achievement, teacher quality, and educational policy. This thesis, set within a critical theory framework and a mixed methods research design, explores the ways in which Graduate Diploma (secondary) preservice teachers perceive and engage with disadvantaged students and schools. The work of Jean Anyon and Nancy Fraser strongly underpins this study. Both scholars identify the wider political, economic, and cultural context of education in disadvantaged schools. Study findings from five university providers identify how the majority of preservice teachers demonstrate minimal engagement with issues of disadvantage that impact on students and schools. This thesis also illuminates how preservice teachers’ engagements with disadvantage are influenced by a complex set of political, economic, and social structures, contexts, policies, and practices. Further analysis of documents, interviews with Programme Leaders, and surveys identifies several key findings. First, institutions and programmes pay limited attention to issues of socioeconomic disadvantage. Second, socioeconomic disadvantage is hidden within broad discussions of diversity. Third, preservice teachers’ understandings of disadvantage are polarized with minimal change occurring from entry through to programme completion. The development of two original models advances conversations about preparing teachers to teach in disadvantaged schools. Two original conceptual models, ‘Continuum of Engagement’ and the ‘Politics of Discomfort’, offer new ways of explaining preservice teachers’ engagements with socioeconomic disadvantage making a significant contribution to the field of teacher education. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title The Politics of Discomfort: Unsettling Conversations about Preservice Teachers’ Engagement with Socioeconomic Disadvantage en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 445622 en
pubs.org-id Faculty of Educ Social Work en
pubs.org-id Critical Studies in Education en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2014-07-14 en


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