Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Goli Rezai-Rashti

2nd Supervisor

Wayne Martino

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

This thesis investigates how teaching in a low-diversity school environment affects equity education. The theoretical frameworks as elaborated by Banks with regards to critical multiculturalism and Kumashiro’s approach to anti-oppressive education underpin the analysis. Four Ontario elementary teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. The purpose was to examine their decisions when teaching about equity and how they arrived at those decisions. By drawing on their experiences and viewpoints, the perceptions and practices of these participants were analyzed. Consistent with teachers in high-diversity environments, these teachers in low-diversity classrooms taught about equity when they saw a student need. Since they did not encounter certain visible differences in their local communities, they were likely to miss teaching more broadly about diversity. The research findings point to a need for anti-racist/anti-oppressive and multicultural education for teachers in all learning environments, not just in urban schools where there tends to be a more diverse student population.


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