Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Beginning Teachers, Schools and Diversity

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posted on 2021-11-10, 09:19 authored by Muralidharan, Vijaya

As the field of education world-wide is explicitly striving to make schools and education available to all children and young persons, classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of language, culture, religion, gender, abilities, socioeconomic status and geographic setting. This rapidly growing phenomenon has educators trying to grapple with ways to prepare and support teachers to be responsive to the diverse needs of students in their classrooms. In New Zealand, cultural diversity is also growing rapidly. By the middle of this century nearly half the student population will be of Pasifika origin. Those opting into the teaching profession must be equipped to confront this reality. While initial teacher education can provide opportunities for student teachers to critically examine their own beliefs and orientation towards diversity, and also provide a snapshot of the reality of classrooms through practicum, it is when they begin actual teaching in schools that the "rubber hits the road". This ethnographic study explores the beliefs and attitudes of beginning teachers about student diversity and possible influences of the primary school culture on their perceptions and practice. Seven beginning teachers were involved in the study over a period of 6-18 months. Multiple data sources were used and data was thematically analysed across the settings using a grounded theory approach.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy


Meyer, Luanna; Higgins, Joanna