Managing Identity and Diversity in a Multicultural School in South Africa

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The purpose of this study was to explore and describe how teachers of different gender and ethnic groups, cultural, religious,and socio-economic backgrounds manage their identity and diversity in one multicultural school in South Africa. The study employed the qualitative research design and a sample of teachers from different ethnic group, gender, religion, culture, and socio-economic background was selected. Eight teachers both male and female from one multi-cultural school in Gauteng, South Africa were observed and interviewed. Data was collected by means of observation, interviews and field notes. The preliminary findings indicated that managing of identity was dependent on cultural, religious and socio-economic background. Gender issues and school culture also influenced teachers' identity, especially professional identity. Futhermore, the findings also revealed that diversity was poorly managed due to misunderstanding and misconception of the concept itself.

Keywords: Identity, Teacher Identity, Diversity, Ethnic Group, Gender, Religion, Culture, Socio-Economic Status, Multicultural School
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Valencia Mabalane

Lecturer, Faculty of Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Johannesburg

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Valencia Mabalane is a lecturer at the Universtity of Johannesburg. Her work involves supervision of students dissertations and teaching of both under-graduate and post-graduate students. She is presently registered for a Doctoral degree in Education and is affilliated to a number of educational organisations. Ms Mabalane presents papers locally and internationally on varoius topics ranging from teacher education, learner education, Social Sciences and Adult Education. Her field of interest are research, adult learning, Social Sciences, Teacher Education and Teacher Professional Development.

Ref: D08P0151