Social Lab Success

The ARC project, Educating preservice teachers to teach diverse learners: A focus on teacher educators epistemic reflexivities, has begun to share its findings with the Australian teacher educator community. While there have been several publications and conference presentations (with more to come) providing detailed discussions into the principal findings along with research methodological processes, nothing beats being able to share information with teacher educators.

Teacher educators from universities across Australia took part in the first of two planned social labs to discuss and plan for how they might teach for diversity in their own contexts. 15 were able to come to QUT Kelvin Grove to participate, while a further 17 joined us online. This is quite remarkable given the uncertainty created by current pandemic constraints.

Lunn Brownlee, Jo; Ryan, Mary; Rowan, Leonie; Bourke, Terri; Walker, Sue; L’Estrange, Lyra; Churchward, Peter; Johansson, Eva; Berge, Anita; (2021): Epistemic Reflexivity – Teacher Education about/to/for Diversity (ER-TED) framework applied to teaching for diversity. Queensland University of Technology. (Theoretical framework)

Teaching fodiversity, a new pedagogy of teacher education based on epistemic reflexivity is the principal finding from the project. Teaching for diversity complements the more readily understood and practised teaching about diversity and teaching to diversity. Together the three approaches are reflected in our tripartite model of epistemic reflexivity. Teaching for diversity builds on teaching about and teaching to, adding a greater emphasis on the ideals of social justice.

Social lab participants were introduced to the thinking behind promoting teaching for diversity within the broader context of meeting the needs of all future teachers in this short provocation video.

Following this, they were invited to consider and understand the concept of epistemic reflexivity in great detail, before being asked to commit to adapting their teaching of our future teachers the possibilities of teaching for diversity.

A second social lab is planned for July. Enthusiastic participants will have the chance to share their stories at a planned summit in November 2022.

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