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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

In-service multicultural education in one urban school district in British Columbia : a critical and transformative perspective Miled, Neila


This qualitative research study aimed to explore teachers’ in-service multicultural education and the nature of teachers’ professional development in one urban school district in the province of British Columbia. This study focused on the perspectives of five participants; four participants from the School District and one participant from the Teacher Association. All participants were involved in teachers’ in-service professional development. From a critical lens and using semi–structured interviews and document analysis the study explored the participants’ understanding of multiculturalism and the theoretical frameworks that may have shaped the participants’ choices and actions concerning how they educate and support teachers to handle the complexities of diversity and multiculturalism within the current changing demographics of the school district. The study revealed that despite four decades of official multicultural policy, and the abundant academic research in the field of multiculturalism, teachers’ multicultural education in the school district is still limited to the “celebratory” tokenistic approach and doesn’t move beyond “festivals, food and dance”. It also revealed that critical discourses that link multicultural education to equity and social justice are absent and feared. The study highlights the need to rethink teachers’ in-service multicultural education from critical perspectives that embrace critical and transformative stance and that reject the fallacy of apolitical education and neutral educators.

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