Diversity in secondary english classrooms: Conceptions and enactments

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4 Scopus citations


Diversity is conceptualised in many different ways in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language and class. Much has been written about these conceptions of diversity in educational settings and how teacher education programs should prepare pre-service teachers to address diversity in their future classrooms. In this article, however, we take a different approach to diversity in the classroom by examining how two secondary English teachers conceptualise diversity once they are out of their English education program. Drawing on a case study, we present perspectives on diversity from Helen and Scott - two secondary English language arts teachers in the Midwestern United States. Although Helen and Scott both address diversity, the way they conceptualise and enact diversity in their classrooms is somewhat different. Based on interview and observation data, we show what diversity means for these two practising teachers and the ways in which they actually conceive of diversity in their classrooms. We explore these conceptions of diversity in order to show how they affect the instructional decisions that Helen and Scott make, as well as how they formulate their roles as teachers in diverse classrooms. Finally, we discuss the implications of their work and the preparation of secondary English teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalEnglish Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study
  • Diversity
  • English classroom
  • Secondary english teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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