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LEFKIOS NEOPHYTOU STAVROULA VALIANDES CHRISTINA HAJISOTERIOU

Abstract

Nowadays, teachers are called to address the needs of all students in their culturally-diverse and mixedability classrooms. Despite the widespread concern about the underachievement and marginalisation of students with disabilities and students from diverse cultural backgrounds; the reasons for this have, for too long, been attributed to the students and their families, rather than to the curricular, pedagogical, and organisational structures of schools and the inequitable framework of our society. Within this context, two pedagogical approaches appeared in the research and literature: intercultural education and differentiated instruction that only recently have been combined to form interculturally differentiated teaching. In this paper, we examine the implementation of interculturally differentiated instruction by Cypriot teachers in real, mixed ability, and culturally diverse classroom settings. Our analysis indicates that teachers are unable to connect intercultural competence with educational effectiveness, consequently failing to create inclusive instructional practises that could maximise learning potential along with intercultural competence for all children. Based on these findings, we question the effectiveness of teacher professional development on interculturally differentiated teaching.

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Keywords

intercultural education, differentiated instruction, mixed-ability classes, cultural diversity, inclusive instruction

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