07 SES 09 A, Intercultural Education and Global Mobility
Mentoring programs with the aim to support disadvantaged or under-represented groups are becoming more and more popular in the higher education landscape (Leutwyler, Aegerter & Meierhans, 2014). Examples of programs are: “Big Brothers Big Sisters in the United States (http://www.bbbs.org), Balu und Du in Germany (http://balu-und-du,de) and the Perach tutorial project in Israel (www.perach.org.il).
In Malmö, Sweden, the so called Nightingale project started as a pilot project in 1997 with the Israeli Perach mentor scheme as a role model. Since 1 July of 2005 Nightingale mentor scheme has been used as a permanent scheme at Malmö University (Sild Lönroth, 2007). Among others, one goal of the scheme is that the friendship between a mentor and a child will lead to an increased understanding of, and tolerance for, each other’s differing social and cultural backgrounds.
Today you can find the Nightingale program at many universities around Europe. In Malmö, and at most of the other universities using the program, mentors are recruited from different university programs. The mentees most often come from schools in segregated areas range in from 8-12 years of age.
At Halmstad University a Nightingale project started in 2014, in cooperation with Halmstad municipality, Save the children in Halmstad, and the County administrative board Halland. At the end of that year the first group of mentors and mentees had completed the program. The aims and goals for the Nightingale project taking place at the Halmstad university were the same as in other Nightingale projects, but what differed was the selection of those participating in the project. All the mentors were teacher education students, most of whom plan to teach at the secondary or the upper secondary school. The mentees were not children from socioeconomic depressed areas but unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan aged 18 to 19. All of the youngsters were male and all of them were living by themselves without parents or other relatives.
In this paper I will focus on intercultural learning among mentors as well as among mentees. The research question is:
Can a Nightingale Mentor Program with teacher education students and unaccompanied minors create possibilities for mutual intercultural learning, and if so, in what ways?
An evaluation was done after the first three years pilot study in Malmö. That evaluation showed, among other things, that mentors stated that they learned most from coming in contact with a world which was very different from their own background (Rubinstein Reich, 2001).
In the Halmstad project the circumstances were a bit different. The relationships were built between teacher education students and newly arrived unaccompanied young adults.
The theoretical framework:
The intercultural learning that took place between the becoming-teachers and the youngsters can be seen from a sociocultural perspective. Learning happened in a specific cultural context and the newly arrived mentee had to learn and the “native” mentors had to facilitate entrance to the “Swedish culture” and the “Swedish way of living and behaving”, including what it is to be a pupil in the Swedish school, and the language skills needed. At the same time the newly arrived unaccompanied youngster has something to transmit about being a refugee and coming from Afghanistan, and also what you as teachers have to think about when you have great diversity among pupils in the classroom. In this case intercultural learning is both about culture and language skills and understanding (Eklund, 2003; Vygotskij, 1929/1994, 1986). It is also possible to use the concept of “Legitimate peripheral participation” (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to understand the ongoing process the newly arrived unaccompanied minors is in, trying to understand what it is to live in Sweden,
Eklund, M. (2003). Interkulturellt lärande. Intentioner och realiteter i svensk grundskola sedan 1960-talets början. [Intercultural learning: Intentions and realities in Swedish compulsory school since the early 1960s]. (Dissertation). Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för lärarutbildning. Lave, J & Wenger, E (1991). Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Leutwyler, B., Aegerter, M., & Meierhans, C. (2014). ”Nightingale” in Teacher Education: Program Evaluation. University of Teacher Education Zug: IZB Institute for International Cooperation in Education. Rubinstein Reich, L. (2001). Mentorsprojektet Näktergalen- Möten mellan skolbarn och högskolestudenter. Rapporter om utbildning;4/2001. Malmö : Malmö Högskola, Lärarutbildningen, 2001 Sild Lönroth, C. (2007). The Nightingale scheme – A song for the heart. Malmö: Malmö University, School of Teacher Education. Vygotsky, L.S. (1986). Thought and language. (translation newly rev. and edited by Alex Kozulin). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1929/1994). The problem of the cultural development of the child. I R. Van der Veer & J. Valsinger (Red.), The Vygotsky reader. (1994, reprinted 1998). (ss. 57-72). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd (reprinted 1998).
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.