Preparing culturally and linguistically diverse preservice Early Childhood teachers for field experience
This article reports on an action research project focussed on preparing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) preservice early childhood teachers for field experience. A series of targeted workshops delivered over one semester was designed to support the students to develop intercultural competence in relation to knowledge, attitude, skills and behaviours that contribute to success on field placement. Findings indicate that short-term initiatives targeted specifically to students’ identified needs and strengths can help to build intercultural competence for both students and teacher educators. For the participants, access to communication strategies, opportunities for rehearsal of teaching practice, and peer and academic support contributed to shifts in attitude, and the development of skills and new knowledge. New learnings for the teacher educators included challenging assumptions about CALD students’ sense of community and belonging in the university context.