Building new identities in teacher preparation for inclusive education in Ghana
âWe want our classrooms to be just and caring, full of various conceptions of the good. We want them to be articulate, with the dialogue involving as many persons as possible, opening to one another, opening to the worldâ (Greene 1993 as cited in Nieto & Bode, 2008). These words sum up inclusive education as a multifaceted practice that deals with value and belief systems, invites and celebrates diversity and difference arising from family background, social class, gender, language, socio-economic background, cultural origin or ability with human rights and social justice at its core. In this paper we reflect critically on current pedagogical practices in Ghana in relation to inclusive education. Using a critical post-colonial discursive framework the paper takes up the challenge to problematise the existing pedagogical practices, which are intensely oppressive. It examines the impact of colonial and cultural practices (beliefs, values, norms) on teaching and learning, using data obtained from three focus groups with 21 student teachers, a total of 42 hours of non-participant observation of their classroom teaching and existing research commentaries. We found that current pedagogical practices are prescriptive, mechanistic, and do not value student diversity and different learning styles. We conclude with new directions for teacher education programs in Ghana that value and celebrate diversity, and difference.