20 SES 03, Pre-School, Inclusion and Identity, Education and Transition, Newly Arrived Students and Business Games in Primary Education
The growing number of pupils who experience transitions between school contexts in different countries is without doubt an issue of European as well as of global concern. Our presentation relates to these transitions. We take Sweden as an example and the following quotation from The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) marks the importance of the topic:
The number of newly arrived students is increasing and more and more municipalities must build preparedness and knowledge to receive the newly arrived students and offer them good education. (www.skolverket.se)
As can be seen, the national agency has identified the need for ensuring good conditions for newly arrived pupils and locates the responsibility to a municipal level.
In our study, we follow a specific municipal project and its ambitions to meet the required needs. The project management has taken a number of measures to ensure equity, one of which has been to double the amount of study tutoring from two weekly hours to four. ‘Study tutoring’ is an arrangement in which newly arrived pupils get pedagogical support from a ‘study tutor’ who speaks their mother tongue and explains content area matters, concepts and cultural differences. The study tutoring arrangement is carried on in parallel with ordinary school activities.
The project management turned to us as researchers for help with continuous evaluative research. This means that we analyse, challenge and sometimes interrupt what happens in the project. A recent and specific request from the project management was new knowledge on the pupils’ perspectives, and in turn an identification of areas that need particular attention in order to facilitate equity. The specific aim of our paper is to shed light on newly arrived pupils and their responses to the school conditions established.
Although we are fully aware that the pupils’ social conditions cannot be separated from their educational ones, we have divided our study into two sections; the social arena on the one hand and the educational space on the other. As a consequence we let two theoretical frameworks guide the study. The first framework is found within social capital theory (Field, 2005). The theory takes an interest in social networks and the reciprocities that arise from them, as well as the values of these for achieving mutual goals. The other theoretical source concerns the educational space and has its origins in Basil Bernstein’s (2000) theory of different knowledge forms. In short, an assumption in a Bernsteinian perspective and by those who follow in his footsteps is that pupils should get broad repertoires and learn what is highly valued and useful in school as well as in society.
Bernstein, Basil (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Epstein, Iris, Stevens, Bonnie, McKeever, Patricia & Baruchel, Sylvain (2006). Photo Elicitation Interview (PEI): Using Photos to Elicit Children’s Perspectives. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 5(3), 1-11. Field, John (2005). Social Capital and Lifelong Learning, Policy Press, Bristol. http://www.skolverket.se/skolutveckling/larande/nyanlandas-larande Lind, Ulla & Åsén, Gunnar (1999). En annan skola. HLS förlag. Richard, Veronica M. & Lahman, Maria K. E. (2014). Photo-elicitation: reflexivity on method, analysis, and graphic portraits. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 1-20.
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