Embracing the otherness of others: an approach for teacher educators to assuage social and political tribalism




Varbelow, Sonja

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Springer, Cham


We live in a corrosively polarized climate where sharply divided beliefs about globalization and populism magnify existing biases. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that those who want to educate the next generation – teacher candidates – have been schooled in systems that focus on obedience, conformity, and docility. This breadcrumbs approach to education bears the danger of reproducing the status quo rather than changing it. This chapter explores the promises, perils, and provocations of curriculum regarding how we think about diversity and delineates a learning experience for pre-service teachers that allows them to identify, approach, and become the Other. The lived experience illuminates the cultural and experiential origins of their beliefs while reconciling the uncomfortable notion that bias is part of the human condition. In times where sharpened divisions intensify social and political tribalism it is essential to understand that it is the way one acts upon one’s biases that determines what kind of world one creates.



curriculum theory, bias, diversity, lived experiences, teacher education


Varbelow S. (2019). Embracing the otherness of others: an approach for teacher educators to assuage cocial and political tribalism. In: Sharma S., Lazar A. (eds) Rethinking 21st Century Diversity in Teacher Preparation, K-12 Education, and School Policy. Education, Equity, Economy, vol 7. Springer, Cham