Faculty Publications

Teaching Diverse Students: A Comparative Analysis of Perspectives from South Africa, Canada, and Hong Kong

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Palgrave Handbook of Teacher Education Research


Quality teachers and their role in economic development preoccupy the global imagination as the forces of globalization heighten both competition and cooperation among nations, fueled by international assessments and the marketization of education. Yet, education is simultaneously an economic imperative and a moral responsibility. There is growing awareness that teacher education must be different if teachers are to reach the ideals of inclusive, quality education for increasingly diverse student populations. This chapter examines teacher preparation for diverse students across/from three jurisdictions – South Africa, Canada, and Hong Kong. The purpose is not to offer a comprehensive picture of teaching for diversity in each setting, but a broad strokes view. To this end, policy documents and perspectives shared by key scholars from each jurisdiction were sampled and engaged as intentional lenses for insights into conceptions of and issues surrounding diversity in relation to teacher preparation. The chapter is first situated within the larger landscape of teacher preparation for diversity promulgated by key organizations such as OECD or UNESCO that influence prevailing world conversations about teachers’ professional knowledge for students who represent multiple identities. It then offers within-country stories/analysis framed by three research questions: (1) How is diversity/educating for diversity defined? (2) What are some imperatives underlying educating for diversity? (3) What do teacher education scholars/policy makers suggest teachers should know and be able to do to educate diverse students? The chapter concludes with a cross-context, relational comparison (Chisholm, 2020) to surface deeper understandings about meeting the needs of all learners.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version