Teacher education and competence in an intercultural perspective: some reflections in Brazil and the UK.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The present thesis aims to discuss the concept of competence in teacher education concerned with the preparation of teachers to deal with cultural diversity. It will focus particularly on the roles of educational theory and school experience in the development of that concept. The literature review discusses these roles as different paradigms in education, so as to locate the study with reference to them. Emphasis is given to a critical theory approach, in which the concept of intercultural perspective is understood in the scope of the study. A parallel between two countries - Brazil and the UK - attempts to contextualise the theoretical framework developed in the preceding chapter. It will be argued that, despite considerable differences, Brazil and the UK share the challenges imposed on their educational systems by the multicultural nature of their societies.
The evidence of the role of teachers' perceptions and assumptions in the perpetration of education inequality in both countries is presented, and the contributions of the intercultural approach to change the situation is discussed. A case study undertaken in a higher teacher education institution in the UK highlighted the nature of some of the constraints for the development of intercultural sensitivity in the delivery of educational theory and in the school experience component. It will be argued that the persisting net of misconceptions associated with the intercultural approach, as well as the hierarchical culture in the institution in question, represented relevant factors detrimental to the development of competence in an intercultural perspective.
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