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"After all these years they still ask me where I'm from" : exploring the experiences of culturally diverse teacher educators

Santoro, Ninetta and Lander, Vini (2013) "After all these years they still ask me where I'm from" : exploring the experiences of culturally diverse teacher educators. In: European Conference on Educational Research 2013, 2013-09-10 - 2013-09-13. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Within a globalised university context, academics have become a highly mobile group and there has been an increase in the cultural diversity present in many faculties and departments, including education. Furthermore, those that draw their workforce from the professions, such as teaching, have experienced a small but not insignificant increase in the number of academics from outside the hegemonic cultural mainstream. In some cases in education these changes signify attempts to diversify the academic population for reasons of social justice, to meet increasing pressures to internationalise the profile of the academic workforce and to bring culturally diverse perspectives to curricula. In Britain, Europe, Australia and North America there has been a growing interest in the nature of teacher educators as a professional group, their work histories prior to joining academe and their experiences within schools and faculties of education, both as researchers and practitioners (Mayer, Mitchell, Santoro & White, 2011; Murray, Swennen and Shagrir 2008). However, there is very little research that has investigated the professional experiences of academics in the discipline of education who are from minority ethnic and racial groups, despite the increasing international mobility of academics (Maadad 2010; Shaikh 2009; Saltmarsh & Swirski 2010). Little is known about how they experience work in academe, how they draw upon different cultural understandings and practices to shape pedagogical practices and research agendas within the field of education. The study on which this paper reports will contribute to filling a gap in the literature and will provide empirical evidence from Australia and Britain that will facilitate better understandings of the work of academics from culturally diverse contexts and how they are positioned within academe and particularly, in schools and departments of education.