Getting World English Speaking Student Teachers to the Top of the Class: Making hope for ethno-cultural diversity in teacher education robust

Jinghe Han, Michael Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that hte increasing diversity of multicultural Australia is now troubling teacher educaiton due to the under-representation of world English speaking (WES) student teachers of minority immigrant backgrounds. This is now a concern of national significance to education policy-makers and researchers. This paper summarises key findings from a study of higher education policy and practice which investigated issues concerning the education and retention of WES student teachers of minority (Asian Pacific) immigrant backgrounds. In doing so it presents an analysis of the report of the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Vocational Training on teacher education, Top of the Class. In terms of policy action for the recruitment of WES student teachers it was found that this report recognises the significance of WES reachers, but that there is an under-enrolment and retention of WES student teachers. Evidence from the case study indicated that WES student teachers experienced pedagogical disengagement from their teacher education programs as contradictions in them becoming "Australian teachers". They experienced this gap between the hopes and happening in their teacher education programs; their programs; their practicum; the complexities of student behaviour management; the English language difficulties of their teacher educators, and most importantly the marginalisation of their language and thus their knowledge of education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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