07 SES 07 A, Intersectionality in the Analysis of Diverse Teachers’ Experiences
N.B. unfortunately only one author will be available.
This round table has been organised by the newly formed WERA International Research Network (WERA-IRN) on Intersectionality, Methodologies, and Knowledge Mobilization in Research for Social Justice in Education. This WERA-IRN expands form an international group of researchers that since 2009 has collaborated on international conferences and publications (Gagné and Schmidt 2008, Ragnarsdóttir 2010, Ragnarsdóttir and Schmidt 2013, Smyth 2010, Smyth and Santoro forthcoming) related to social justice in education, particularly pertaining to diverse teachers and diverse learners. Participation in the round table discussion will include members of the network from Australia and Canada as well as Europe.
This new international WERA network recognises that support for social justice issues can not be built on single issue campaigns alone. Indeed, efforts towards socially just education often struggle for legitimacy with many equity initiatives operating in relative isolation (Trifonas 2003), indicating a need to examine the intersectionality of such issues to garner support and build momentum (Apple 2008). Compounding the complexity of advancing a social justice agenda which acknowledges intersectionality is the pressing need for appropriate methodologies that speak with rather than for participants (Griffiths 1998), and knowledge mobilization that contributes positively to the communities involved. Key to the success of individual countries, multinational alliances, and the global community at large are education systems that respond to the needs of the diverse populations in their communities. For diversity to be regarded as a strength in all facets of society and for equity to be achieved, identity and social justice issues must feature prominently on educational research agendas. In turn, these agendas should meaningfully strive to inform policies, programmes and practices that directly affect the lives, well-being, and opportunities for success of diverse populations. This shift also requires education researchers to engage with policymakers to effect change in areas where outmoded approaches and systemic discrimination relegate cultural, linguistic, visible, religious, and gender minorities, along with socioeconomically disadvantaged people, to the margins of school and society.
This round table will foster discussion around the concept of Intersectionality as it may be applied to studies of diverse teachers to help us analyse the multilayered influences on professional experience, while simultaneously considering the complex interplay of intersectional issues between researchers and respondents. In this way we aim to create a dialogic encounter between voices from different jurisdictions, thus imbuing the discourse with rich (and perhaps contradictory) perspectives on intersectionality which represent the experiences of researchers and educators striving for similar ends in their own contexts.
The round table will commence with the presentation of papers drawn from 3 recent research projects with diverse teachers followed by a paper discussing the successes and problems in exploring and developing intersectionality as a theoretical approach to the professional experiences of these teachers. The empirical papers are all drawn from research investigating the experiences of teachers who move from their country of origin to a European country where they become members of an ethnic minority and seek to continue to teach in this new cultural and educational context. The studies aimed to understand how these teachers have experienced entry to and practicing of the teaching profession in Europe and whether they have experienced systemic discrimination related to their origins, gender, language and/or socioeconomic status.
Apple, M (2008) Can schooling contribute to a more just society? Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice 3 239–261 Banks, JA (2007) Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society (2nd Edition) Griffiths, M (1998) Educational research for social justice: Getting off the fence. Malkki, L (1992) National Geographic: The Rooting of people and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees. Cultural Anthropology, 7, (1), pp.24 -44. May, S. & Sleeter, C. E. (Eds.) (2010) Critical multiculturalism: Theory and praxis Pietka-Nykaza, E (2014) 'Refugees’ integration into their professions: experiences of refugee doctors and teachers in the UK' Unpublished PhD thesis Ragnarsdóttir, H and Schmidt, C (2013) Learning spaces for social justice: International perspectives on exemplary practices from preschool to secondary school. Smyth, G and Kum, H (2010) ‘Professionals, de-professionalisation and re-professionalisation: the case of refugee teachers in Scotland’ Journal of Refugee Studies Smyth, G and Santoro, N (eds) (forthcoming) Methodologies for research in culturally diverse contexts. London: Trentham Trifonas, PP (ed) (2003) Pedagogies of difference: Rethinking education for social change.
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