Dynamics in Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs about Multilingualism and Linguistic Diversity in Education: A Q methodology study

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This study addresses the structural challenges faced by multilingual students in predominantly monolingual school systems. To reduce these structural challenges, teachers must integrate students’ full linguistic repertoire in education. This integration requires not only specific professional knowledge and skills but also certain professional beliefs. In recent years, these beliefs have increasingly come into the focus of teacher education research, with studies revealing important insights into pre-service teachers’ beliefs and their dynamics through professional development initiatives. However, these studies have mainly used methods that are prone to socially desirable responding. Thus, this paper introduces an alternative methodological approach using Q methodology (Q), which minimizes such response bias. To investigate pre-service teachers’ beliefs and their development during a teacher education course using Q, pre-service teachers (n = 30) were asked to sort and rank statements in a sorting grid, resulting in individual representations of their beliefs. Factor analysis of the collected data provides nuanced insights into pre-service teachers’ evolving beliefs about multilingualism and linguistic diversity in education. Findings reveal predominantly positive beliefs already before the course, with further convergence and shift toward an even more resource-oriented perspective after the course. The holistic nature of Q is instrumental in capturing this shared perspective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCogent Education
Publication statusSubmitted - 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503037 Teacher education
  • 602007 Applied linguistics

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