Developing inclusive pedagogy : a case study of one initial teacher education programme in Aotearoa New Zealand. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsDayman, Tracy Jillianshow all
For over a decade, the goal of a “world class inclusive education system” promised in Aotearoa New Zealand has remained aspirational rather than a reality (Massey University & Ministry of Education, 1999, p. 5). Influenced by the discourses of difference perpetuated within society and the beliefs teachers enact in practice, inclusive education continues to reproduce inequitable educational experiences and outcomes for diverse learners. This qualitative study focuses on the role initial teacher education (ITE) plays in supporting student teachers to become inclusive practitioners. I examine the context of one ITE provider to investigate what influences the understandings teacher educators and student teachers hold of inclusion and inclusive practices. I argue that the traditional settler-colonial foundations and neoliberal ideology, upon which the current Aotearoa New Zealand education system is built, propagates privilege, exclusion and the categorisation of human beings (Elliot, 2019; Mignolo, 2009).
This study is underpinned by a social constructionist ontology. I use a bricolage approach, which includes Critical Social Theories, Disability Studies in Education and te ao Māori perspectives, to understand the influence of socio-political, historical and cultural contexts on constructions of inclusion. Using a case study design, I offer insights about constructions of inclusion, inclusive education and teacher identity in key educational policies and texts, an ITE provider, and interviews with student teachers and teacher educators.
This thesis highlights the potential emancipatory contribution the study may offer to education and the benefits of an ethical process that weaves cultural relational principles together. The āta philosophy highlights the responsibility I had as a researcher to maintain the mana of the research participants and the focus ITE provider in the way I engaged with people personally and the stories they shared. Biculturalism is identified as a strong influence on the constructions of inclusion within the focus ITE programmes and in the early childhood sector student teachers work within. I argue that, while in the Aotearoa New Zealand context, biculturalism is not in itself a solution to inclusion, it does however offer a platform and set of strategies for thinking about different ways to organise educational settings.
The audience this research aims to engage are ITE providers, teacher educators, early childhood teachers, the Teaching Council, and the Ministry of Education. This research contributes to the emancipatory aims that other critical and disability studies have argued for. I claim that to liberate education from the shackles of settler colonial, neoliberal and deficit ideology, the landscape of education and the architecture of ITE must be transformed.