Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Keane, E. & Heinz, M.
Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners Conference
Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners? Initial Findings from Ireland's National Diversity Profiling Initial Teacher Education (DITE) Research Project
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Conference Paper
Optional Fields
This paper considers the rationale for the national Diversity Profiling Initial Teacher Education (DITE) in Ireland research project, and presents initial findings from our first multi-annual implementation of the online survey exploring ITE applicants’ and entrants’ socio-demographic backgrounds (including, sex, age, social class, nationality, ethnicity, dis/ability, language/s). We regard this research as an essential first step in advance of reviewing ITE entry procedures and selection criteria, and identifying ways of facilitating entry to the profession by under-represented groups.   Ireland’s school pupil populations significantly diversified through immigration during the Celtic Tiger years. However, the homogeneity of our teaching profession is notable, with teachers being predominantly white, female, and of the majority ethnic and social class groupings, especially at, but not limited to, primary school level. Similar to the international context, research and policy documents in Ireland have emphasised the necessity of diversifying the teaching population. A small number of studies have focused on, or have included a focus on, ITE applicant or entrant profiles, but what we have been lacking is a solid statistical base which describes ITE applicants’ and entrants’ diversity profiles on a national level. Through this first national study, the DITE project aims to gather background data from ITE applicants and entrants in Ireland to examine and compare their diversity and motivational profiles, and experiences with diversity. An online survey was implemented with entrants to post-graduate ITE programmes in Ireland’s seven universities in 2013/2014, and this paper considers findings from this first implementation. With recent Irish Research Council funding, the project has extended to include primary ITE programmes, and we have also designed a system that allows us to track applicants to entrants, thus enabling a comparison of applicants’ and entrants’ diversity profiles for the 2014/2015, and subsequent, cohorts. 
Irish Research Council
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy