07 SES 07 B, Culturally Diverse Teachers and their Resources in Dealing with Cultural Diversity: Complex Findings from Iceland, Germany and Switzerland
In Switzerland, teachers are predominantly from the majority ethnic, linguistic and cultural background of the region in which they work. Teachers with a non-Swiss background are rare, particularly among older and more experienced teachers, while slightly growing numbers can be observed among teacher education students. However, empirical insight on their particular experiences and identities is largely lacking (Mantel and Leutwyler, 2013; Strasser and Steber, 2010). Our research therefore aims at gaining a more profound understanding of being a teacher ‘with an immigrant background’ in Switzerland. While the significance of having an immigrant family background shall be the focus of interest, the very categorisation into those having and those not having an ‘immigrant background’ is problematic in itself as it may be understood as an essentialisation of a cultural or national belonging which does not take the dynamic, changeable, multiple and situational aspects of group belongings and identities into account (Brubaker, Loveman, & Stamatov, 2004; Wimmer, 2005). As a consequence, research may scrutinise a seeming significance of a background that is being made significant from the outset by the very categorisation. Our research design aims at meeting these challenges. Intending to avoid an essentialisation of an ‘immigrant background’, we chose an open approach through the narratives of life stories that give insight into the particular experiences of belonging and difference that appeared to be most significant for the responding teachers. Biographical-narrative interviews are conducted according to Schütze (1983), while the selection and number of cases is oriented on theoretical sampling (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The life story narratives are then analysed according to Schütze (1983) and different aspects of difference and belonging will be shown including their consequences on the teachers’ professional career.
Brubaker, R., Loveman, M., & Stamatov, P. (2004). Ethnicity as cognition. Theory and Society, 33(1), 31-64. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. New York: de Gruyter. Mantel, C. & Leutwyler, B. (2013). Lehrpersonen mit Migrationshintergrund: eine kritische Synthese der Literatur. Beiträge zur Lehrerbildung, 31(2), 234-247. [Teachers with an Immigrant Background: a Critical Synthesis of the Literature] Schütze, F. (1983). Biographieforschung und narratives Interview. Neue Praxis, 13(3), 283-293. [Biography Research and Narrative Interview] Strasser, J. & Steber, C. (2010). Lehrerinnen und Lehrer mit Migrationshintergrund. Eine empirische Reflexion einer bildungspolitischen Forderung. In J. Hagedorn & L. Herwartz-Emden (Hrsg.), Ethnizität, Geschlecht, Familie und Schule. Heterogenität als erziehungswissenschaftliche Herausforderung (S. 97-126). Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. [Teachers with an Immigrant Background. An Empirical Reflection of an Educational Political Call] Wimmer, A. (2005). Kultur als Prozess. Zur Dynamik des Aushandelns von Bedeutungen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. [Culture as Process. On the Dynamics of the Negotiation of Meanings]
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