Shakespeare and racial diversity for Primary children: exploring ways to develop student teacher confidence
This research paper examines student teachers’ development, of pedagogy and understanding, in the areas of creativity and racial and ethnic diversity and identity. This dual focus emerges from critical reflection on the teaching of a new module to white students within their Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course. The students were required to take forward their university learning into school, where they taught aspects of the Shakespeare play ‘The Tempest’ in either Key Stage One or Two. The module presented the challenges of: teaching Shakespeare, a demanding topic to this young age group; employing creative approaches to do this; and using the play to teach children about racial and ethnic diversity and identity. The paper argues that while these challenges exposed a desire to develop creative approaches, the students displayed an uncertainty and lack of confidence in using these approaches to teach about issues of ethnicity. The paper also asserts that an awareness of and desire by teacher educators, to support and educate students about these issues, is crucial.
Keywords: cultural disawareness; racial and ethnic diversity; identity; creativity; active teaching approaches;