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Improving the quality of education for young people growing up in high poverty and culturally diverse communities is an escalating problem in affluent nations with increasing gaps between the wealthy and the poor. Improving the quality of teachers and improving the quality of teaching are amongst the prominent solutions offered to redress the differences between student academic performances related to socio-economic family circumstances. This article examines the different discourses of ‘quality’ in relation to the preparation of pre-service teachers to work in high poverty schools such as graduates of the National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools pre-service teacher education program. Key tenets of ‘quality teacher’ and ‘quality teaching’ solutions are summarized along with their critiques. An alternative approach starting from a position of social justice is considered. This approach situates the work of teaching within high poverty school communities and considers what pre-service teachers need to understand and learn to do with respect to context.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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