Teacher Education Reimagined: A Letter to Teacher Educators on Preparing Teachers to Educate Refugee Students
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Keywords:Refugees, Social justice education, Teacher education, Preservice teacher education, Teacher educators
Turkey is currently home to the world's largest refugee population, with more than 3.7 million Syrians and around 322,000 refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities under international protection. Situated in a theory of teacher education for social justice, the current study aims to illustrate the lessons and insights that teacher educators, who are critically engaged in preparing teachers to teach immigrant and refugee students, offer in reimagining preservice teacher education to prepare prospective teachers to teach all students, including refugee children. The study employed phenomenological research to investigate the perspectives and the lived experiences of 18 teacher educators who were purposefully selected through criterion, maximum variation, and snowball sampling strategies. The data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews with the participants. The findings revealed three key issues for a socially just teacher education system: “who should teach: teacher educator identities”, “teacher education curriculum and pedagogy”, and “contexts, structures, and collaborators in teacher education”. As a letter to educational stakeholders in general and to teacher educators specifically, the present study issues a call to action to revisit our roles and rethink the education of massive numbers of refugee students in Turkey and around the globe to advocate for and enact social justice in and through teacher education
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