Difficult conversations: Lessons learnt from a diversity programme for pre-service teachers
Keywords:pre-service teachers, diversity programme, difficult conversations, social justice education, anti-oppressive education, oppression, teacher education
Premised on the notion that any educational programme for pre-service teachers pursues excellence in both academics and social justice, teacher educators must capacitate student teachers to work in areas of social justice. Pre-service teachers must subsequently be assisted to become professionally qualified teachers who are prepared to move outside their contingent practices and assumptions to recognise and counteract oppressive practices, especially their own. However, to get pre-service teachers to challenge their own assumptions, to question what they know and to seek new understandings involves entering a field that contains complex, incongruous and even conflicting perspectives. In this reflective article we draw on our reflective notes, our observation and student journals to reflect on the lessons we have learnt from a diversity programme offered to final-year pre-service teachers. This article not only foregrounds how teaching for social justice is partial, but also makes room for considering some implications for teacher education.