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A pedagogy of belonging : troubling encounters with ethnic and religious difference

Edgeworth, Kathryn and Santoro, Ninetta (2015) A pedagogy of belonging : troubling encounters with ethnic and religious difference. Cambridge Journal of Education. ISSN 0305-764X

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Understanding the construction of belonging and how unbelonging might be troubled, is critical work. For schools in many parts of the world, one of the many challenges of globalisation is the task of teaching with, and for ethnic and cultural diversity. In this paper we examine the exclusionary practices of teaching that construct ethnic and religious minority students in states of unbelonging. These practices are due, in part, to teachers’ failure to really know their students. Alongside this argument, we examine discourses of belonging in rural schools that speak to possibilities for everyday place-sharing for ethnic and religious minority students. Simple and common moments of mutual recognition and understanding speak to the possibilities for belonging that are opened up in everyday relations of knowing. We consider the implications of these ideas for teachers and teacher education in what is framed as a ‘pedagogy of belonging’.