Special Issue "Teaching and Teacher Education: Movement toward Equity across Global Contexts"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Teacher Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Janet Carlson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Interests: professional learning for teachers to use high leverage practices for equity; systemic change in schools; agency, authority and identity for teachers and students; science education; research–practice partnerships
Dr. Suki Jones Mozenter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Education & Human Science Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812, USA
Interests: antiracist pedagogy; identity; literacies and languaging in schools; transformative teacher education
Dr. Florencia Gómez Zaccarelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago, Chile
Interests: professional development for enacting teaching and learning practices in science and mathematics classrooms; teaching and learning mediated by technology; and collaborative research methodologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The focus of this Special Issue is equity in teaching and teacher education, with a particular emphasis on movement (e.g., in research, in preservice teacher education, in inservice teacher learning, in instructional practice) toward social justice in a variety of international contexts. Knowing that equity and inequity are constructed and constrained by the specifics of the local context, and that movement toward social justice must be enacted within these contexts, this Special Issue looks to bring together examples of movement toward equity from globally diverse perspectives.

We welcome articles that are conceptual, methodological, or reports of findings so that we have a wide range of orientations with regard to the focal area of challenging what it means to bring an equity perspective to the world of teaching and teacher education. For example, we envision articles that offer a look at the “typical” work of teacher education such as the role of school placements and how those placements can be used to unpack issues of equity and support teachers to develop a social justice stance; or a conceptual paper that articulates how key ideas in teacher development such as adaptive expertise or PCK can be re-thought to center social justice; or methodologies that look to center issues of equity in teacher or teacher education research.

Our aim is to provide a space for scholars of teaching and teacher learning to share their work in ways that highlight a range of insights on equity and social justice in education from around the world. Constraints on, and opportunities for, equity differ across contexts. This issue will serve as a powerful resource for scholars engaging in equity-driven work across various contexts by collecting multiple and diverse research-based stories of movement toward social justice in a single issue. In addition, we anticipate this issue offering the opportunity to create a virtual community of scholars around the world interested in creating movement in teacher education that promotes social justice and equity within and across contexts.

There is a needed turn, again, to a focus on in/equities and social justice in teaching and teacher education. Critical theories and pedagogies offer expansive pathways forward (Annamma et al., 2016; Brayboy, 2005; Dumas and Ross, 2016; Jaime and Russel, 2019; Haynes Writer, 2008). Antiracist practices in teaching and teacher education move us—as teacher educators, teachers, and students—collectively toward social justice (de los Rios et al., 2019; Dover et al., 2019; Faison and McArthur, 2020; Picower and Kohli, 2017; Kohli et al., 2017). This issue will amplify the movement toward social justice in teaching and teacher education happening across the globe, particularly in contexts across the global South, Muslim-majority contexts, and often-overlooked areas of Southern and Central Asia.

  • Abstracts for consideration: 30 July 2021
  • Invitation to authors to submit: 31 August 2021
  • Full manuscript submissions: 28 Feb 2022

Dr. Janet Carlson
Dr. Suki Jones Mozenter
Dr. Florencia Gómez Zaccarelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social justice
  • teacher education
  • equity
  • teaching
  • preservice teacher education
  • professional development
  • antiracist practice
  • teacher learning
  • professional learning

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.


Title: School-University Partnership for Teacher Education: multiple stakeholders collaboration to develop inclusive practices in Chilean school

Abstract: Traditionally, Chilean teacher education takes place in separate and disconnected stages between pre- and in-service teachers. While pre-service teachers become professionals in university programs, in-service teachers develop new skills through courses and workshops independent of those pre-service programs. When new challenges arise, such as the current calls for inclusive education, both pre-and in-service teachers face complicated scenarios in bringing reform to their classrooms. Here, we investigate how collaboration occurs between pre-service teachers, their cooperating teachers, and teacher educators from the university, where both the former participated in teacher education opportunities. A partnership emerged from this participation, leading to developing a program of professional development (PD) implemented throughout a semester in one school. Analysis of data collected at the PD meetings and interviews with participants showed collaboration and validation of each other as sources of learning and focus on their classroom practices offered unique possibilities for development.
Tentative Submission Date: 25/02/2022


Title: Equity and Unconscious Issues: Professional Psychic Realities and Group for Analyzing Professional Practice.

Abstract: Teachers work on and with the group. In this context, we touch upon equity in a psychoanalytically oriented clinical approach in the field of education. In addition to didactic and sociological issues, we consider that equity reflects balances on the psychic level of the subject-teacher. We present the methodological principles of the clinical approach which takes into consideration the subject and the unconscious psychic life. Based on the advances of group-analytic approach and on clinical vignettes, we highlight how the group for analyzing professional practice can support the subject to work on psychic issues in relation to his professional activity. Indeed, this type of group has the double character of training and research: on the one hand, the participants in the group can elaborate on dynamics and emotional logics that have been experienced in different work situations; on the other hand, the researchers can highlight the way in which the psychic work in group make it possible to take into consideration the unconscious issues. Finally, equity is worked in the interiority of the subject who experiences and thinks about the unspoken and repressed affects in relation to professional situations, while seeking to restore balance on the psychic level. In this type of training group, teachers do not acquire generalizable knowledge, but they develop their ability to think about single situations in the group context, in relation to the values they wish to support.
Tentative Submission Date: 28/02/2022


Title: Digital learning in support groups: an experience promoting the occupational health of practicing teachers

Abstract: Given the situation of pandemic and confinement, local governments decided to contract digital platforms and conducted training for teachers to organise their distance learning. However, these are not used regularly. This study systematises an activity that included five plenary sessions in which the platform was presented, and support groups reflected on issues related to occupational health, especially subjective aspects of role change. Communication of the reflections with tutors is done through the same platform they have to learn. Between sessions, the groups are encouraged to help each other both digitally and in terms of emotional support. At the end of the programme, all teachers use the platform. The data analysis shows that cooperation makes it possible to lose the fear of making mistakes, that digital learning is conceptualised as non-linear, and that intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue occurs. Sharing emotions and concerns with the new role improves the willingness to work. Learning the tools generates well-being associated with being more effective at the task. The training of an occupational health specialist and an ICT specialist is valued.
Tentative Submission Date: 30/01/2022


Title: Lesson design in pre-service education to prepare student teachers to teach in diverse contexts

Abstract: This paper reports on research conducted on how Bachelor of Education (primary school teaching) student teachers at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa interpret and enact the requirement to foreground principles derived from the literature on how humans learn and competencies for a fast-changing world in lesson design. The research stems from the quest to best prepare student teachers for the schools “that are”, the schools that “should be” and the schools that will likely exist in the future. We view this as an equity and social justice imperative. South Africa is one of most unequal countries in the world and can be characterised by “widespread poverty, high unemployment and systemic inequality” (Amnesty International, 2020: 29). This inequality permeates the South African education sector, which has one of the “most unequal school systems in the world”. The South African schooling system is plagued by “stark inequalities and chronic underperformance that have deep roots in the legacy of apartheid” (Amnesty International (2020: 6-7). Spaull (2019: 1) argued that more than two decades after apartheid has been abolished, the average South African child’s life chances are still determined by “the colour of their skin, the province of their birth, and the wealth of their parents”. Coetzee (2014: 4) explained: “The school choice of many black parents living in poor neighbourhoods is limited to the low quality schools available to them by virtue of the area in which they live”. It is therefore extremely important that the children who attend low-performing schools in impoverished communities receive quality education to improve their chances later in life. Recognising the importance of preparing student teachers to teach in any school context, we introduced student teachers to a new lesson design approach - one that foregrounds principles derived from the literature on how humans learn and competencies for a fast-changing world and which aim at developing adaptive expertise (Gravett & Kroon, 2021). We argue that preparing student teachers to design and teach lessons that place learning central and that infuse the development of competencies for a fast-changing world intentionally would serve them (and their learners) well, no matter the circumstances of the schools where they teach and how the context may change. Preparing student teachers to teach in an informed way, that is based on sound knowledge of the nature and process of human learning, would enable them to adapt their teaching decisions in order to guide and support deeper learning (Pellegrino, 2017), the type of learning that is required for transfer. In addition, requiring student teachers to infuse in the lessons that they design the competencies that we deem as important for learners to develop in a fast-changing world will serve them as novice teachers, and the learners, well in dealing with the complexities of an unknown future. The view of some is that the focus in South African education should be on getting the basics right, more specifically so in the early years of schooling. The argument is that we do not have the luxury to divert attention to focus on competencies for a fast-changing world, given what some would term “the crisis” in education. We argue that improving the so-called universal basic skills of our children (the basics), namely literacy and numeracy, is indeed vital. They form the foundation for success in education. But concentrating on these does not need to preclude nurturing the other competencies that children will need to negotiate the changing world. Currently, many who attend highly effective schools acquire these. We argue that, if we are to have a socially just education system, all schools must become more intentional in teaching competencies that are needed to survive and thrive in the changing world. Student teachers need to be prepared for this. The research approach followed in this study is interpretive. Interpretive research assumes that knowledge is socially constructed and that participants can have different interpretations of a phenomenon or event. Interpretive research thus focuses on meaning making; specifically, understanding how individuals in specific settings make sense of their worlds (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012). Data were generated by conducting stimulated recall interviews on the lessons that student teachers designed (using the new lesson design approach), as well as semi-structured interviews about their experiences of the course in which the lesson design approach was introduced. The data were analysed using the constant comparative method of data-analysis (Maykut & Morehouse, 1994). The preliminary findings revealed that the lesson design approach developed student teachers’ understanding of how and why to place learning central in lesson design and why this understanding will serve them well as teachers. In addition, the analysis of the data revealed that student teachers started developing an understanding of how and why to infuse the development of competencies for a fast-changing world in lesson design, as well as the rationale for doing so. References 1. Amnesty International. (2020). Broken and unequal: the state of education in South Africa. Report published by Amnesty International, February 2020. 2. Coetzee, M. (2014). School quality and the performance of disadvantaged learners in South Africa. Stellenbosch University Economics Department, Working Paper, 22 (3): 1- 45. 3. Gravett, S. & Kroon, R. (2021): Learning to become a teacher: student teachers’ experiences and perceptions of a one-year initial teacher education programme, Educational Studies, DOI: 10.1080/03055698.2021.1935216. 4. Maykut, P. & Morehouse, M. (1994). Beginning qualitative research: a philosophic and practical guide. London: The Falmer Press. 5. Pellegrino, J. (2017). Teaching, learning and assessing 21st century skills. In Educational Research and Innovation. Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession. Edited by Guerriero, S. OECD. 6. Schwartz-Shea, P. & Yanow, D. (2012). Interpretive research design: Concepts and processes. United Kingdom: Routledge. 7. Spaull, N. (2019). Equity: A Price Too High to Pay? In South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality - A Study of the Present Situation and Future Possibilities. Edited by Spaull, N. & Jansen, J.D. Springer: Cape Town.
Tentative Submission Date: 28/02/2022


Title: What changes and what does not: Sociocultural dilemmas in the perspectives of German as a Second Language teacher eductators

Abstract: As global migration increases, the number of second language learners in many countries continues to change. Teacher education must adjust to meet the needs of future teachers and move toward more equitable spaces in primary and secondary schools for students learning language alongside disciplinary content. After the influx of over a million refugees in Germany in 2015-2016, German as a Second Language (Deutsch als Zweitsprache - DaZ) education was in the national spotlight. This study explores the views of DaZ teacher educators on what is likely and unlikely to change for DaZ learners in schools and why. Using Berlak and Berlak’s (1981) framework of dilemmas, the study investigates sociocultural factors which weigh on the decision-making of DaZ teacher educators in considering DaZ supports in schools. Systemic functional linguistics is used to analyze interviews with four DaZ teacher educators in Germany and to show how appraisal language can reveal dilemmas teacher educators face. Findings show that even as the professional field of language education provides theories and models teacher educators feel would be more equitable for DaZ learners in schools, they must navigate dilemmas in their practice related to the most likely future jobs for their graduates and where they anticipate the school system changing or remaining unmoving. Implications include how the dilemmas framework can be used to understand what changes and what does not in teacher education and how such analysis can support teacher educators in reflecting on their practice as they work for justice and equity in schools.
Tentative Submission Date: 17/12/2021


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