Diversity Dialogues: online discussions impact on teacher candidates’ adoption of characteristics of inclusive teachers

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Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education



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As public schools respond to calls to provide inclusive and equitable education for all students, teachers must possess positive attitudes towards disability and diversity in addition to content and pedagogical knowledge. It has become, therefore, a common expectation that teacher education programmes encourage candidates to engage in critical reflection on both educational systems and their own assumptions and practices. Meanwhile, a simultaneous trend towards online, asynchronous courses in teacher education have introduced a new challenge of how to encourage critical reflection on sensitive topics in a context where the conversation is dispersed and face-to-face dialogue is absent. This case study examines an adaptation of the Diversity Dialogues framework for an online course, including the affordances of different kinds of prompts for fostering candidates’ adoption of characteristics of inclusive teachers. Thematic coding of candidates’ online dialogue revealed markedly different levels of adoption of the characteristics of inclusive teachers and examination of personal. We identify characteristics of prompts that support different aspects of dispositions for inclusive education and discuss implications for strengthening critical reflection in online education.


asynchronous, critical reflection, Diversity Dialogue, Inclusive education, online discussion, online learning, teacher preparation


Special Education; Child and Adolescent Development