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Title: Multicultural competence and factors influencing its development : the case of Greek pre-service teachers
Author: Sotiropoulou, Peny
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 7067
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines pre-service teachers' multicultural competence and the factors influencing its development, taking Greece as a case study. Multicultural competence is a concept used frequently to describe teachers' knowledge, attitudes and skills related to making educational experiences relevant to all students while also taking into consideration their diverse backgrounds. Despite featuring highly in academic literature and policy agendas worldwide, pre-service teachers' multicultural competence and the factors influencing it are to-date rarely examined. Bringing together literature from multicultural competence, multicultural teacher training and geographies of education and learning, this thesis contributes to an increased understanding of the concept and its main drivers. This study uses an innovative mixed-methods approach to capture more holistically the complex concept of multicultural competence and the factors influencing it, utilising the construction of a statistical model and path analysis with focus group discussions. The empirical dataset comprises 356 questionnaires completed by final-year undergraduate students of Primary Education from three departments in Greece and 6 focus group discussions with students recruited (out of the same pool of participants), conducted equally across the three departments, in which questionnaires were administered. Thus, this study contributes to geographies of education and learning by bringing together a direct engagement with young people, making them the subject of educational research, with an exploration of the influence of wider processes of formal and informal educational spaces on their learning. The study's findings show that, although based crudely on the quantitative scalar measurements, Greek pre-service teachers' multicultural competence scores are relatively high, their narratives present a more complex reality, revealing misconceptions around its practical manifestations and a general lack in multicultural teaching knowledge and skills with a social justice orientation. Moreover, the study traces webs of causal connections between multicultural competence and pre-service teachers' sociocultural positionalities, experiences of international mobilities, multicultural encounters as well as experiences of both formal and informal curricula across diverse spaces of learning. In doing so, the study reveals the importance of thinking relationally about the spatialisation of multicultural competence and offers invaluable insights to the academic literature and policy debates around the best ways to prepare multiculturally competent educators.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: multicultural competence ; pre-service teachers ; Greece ; mixed-methods ; geographies of education and learning