Pathways to Innovative Teaching Practices in Korean Secondary Multiethnic Classrooms: Through Lens of Complex Causality

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Woonsun Kang


The under-achievement and school dropout of students from multiethnic backgrounds are becoming a paramount social concern. Research on innovative teaching practice (ITP) and its relationship with student engagement highlight teachers' need to implement innovative teaching for quality education for all, sustainable development goal 4 (SDG4). This research started from the premise that ITP is a social phenomenon characterized by its causal complexity. Based on this framework, the purpose of this research is to reveal the different combinations of conditions leading to innovative teaching practices in Korean secondary multiethnic classrooms and to suggest implications for promoting inclusive and quality education for all. Against this backdrop, the research questions are: 1) which conditions are necessary to ITP in Korean secondary multiethnic classrooms? 2) Which conditions or combination of conditions are usually sufficient for ITP in Korean secondary multiethnic classrooms? The research method is the fuzzy sets qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), which starts from the premise that social phenomena have causal complexity characteristics and use the set-theoretic relations. The analysis tool is the fsQCA 2.5 software. This study's data were derived from the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) conducted by the OECD. This study was based on a sample of 194 Korean secondary teachers. The outcome variable is innovative teaching practices (ITP), and the causal variables were teacher efficacy in general (TGE), teacher self-efficacy in multicultural classrooms (TME), teachers' innovative climate (TI), and social utility motive to become a teacher (SUM). The results were the following. 1) None of the conditions met the threshold for necessary conditions (0.90). 2) Three distinct pathways to high ITP and two different paths to low ITP were produced. 3) Either high multicultural efficacy or high general efficacy turned out to be the core condition for high ITP, but neither condition is sufficient by itself. These core conditions have to be combined with other factors, including innovative teachers' climate and strong social value motive to become a teacher. 4) In the two pathways to produce the low level of ITP, both the low level of teacher multicultural efficacy and teacher general efficacy are core conditions. This research includes practical implications for promoting sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4), the inclusive and quality education for all.

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