23 SES 01 C, Refugees, Migration and the Politics of Education in Europe
During 2015 Sweden received more than 160 000 refugees among them about 70 000 children under the age of 18, where 35 000 came unaccompanied, mostly from the Middle East (Swedish Migration Agency 2016). This was a radically new situation even though Sweden has been a country for immigration since World War 2. A discourse of solidarity has been dominant for a long time.
This situation was dramatically different from previous flux of migration. The situation raised severe challenges in terms of integration: housing, employment and also schooling. Every municipality and school had to reconsider its organisation to be able to receive the newly arrived children. The distribution among large and small municipalities showed to be unequal. Small municipalities received comparatively a major amount than larger municipalities. Also charter schools received significant less migrant children than public schools (Swedish National Agency for Education 2016). Furthermore, the political party structure has become different, with a xenophobic, and growing nationalistic party affecting the political agenda.
This new situation raises important research questions. Our point of departure was that the newly arrived immigrant children in a significant way challenged some of the fundamental assumptions about schooling, leadership, teaching and learning (Bunar 2015).
First, will the liberal assumption about equality in education be questioned? Second, will the presence of 70 000 newly arrived children affect the idea of school effectiveness and measurable outcomes? Also, we also assume that the teacher profession will be challenged, from its unilateral focus on knowledge dissemination and results. Third, we can see a stronger tension between the democratic and market logic (Jacobsson & Svensson 2017). How do public and charter schools relate to on one hand an explicit democratic mission, and on the other to a competitive market situation when it comes to receiving newly arrived?
We wanted to investigate to what extent the schools were prepared, how they defined the space of action, and finally how the school organisation was adjusted.
We are inspired by the concept of institutional logics introduced by Friedland and Alford (1991), generally defined as a general collection of principles that prescribe "how to interpret organizational reality, what constitutes appropriate behavior, and how to succeed" (Thornton 2004:70).
Our research refers to theoretical aspects of institutional logics, framing five logics described as bureaucratic logic (implementing policy decisions), educational and professional logic (stimulate and develop learning), democratic logic (active participation and codetermination in society), organizational logic (efficiency and productivity) and finally the logic of the market (generating profit). (Jacobsson & Svensson 2017)
A core premise of the institutional logics is that “the interests, identities, values and assumptions of individuals and organizations are embedded within prevailing institutional logics” (Thornton, Ocasio & Lounsbury 2012:6). Another premise is stemming from the fact that organisations exist and function in contexts containing multiple logics that can be contradictory, or even incompatible. (Svensson & Tomsson, 2014)
The differences between public and charter schools have turned out to be the main sorting factor (Irisdotter-Aldenmyr 2008). But, even if the answers from head teachers representing public schools were distinctively different from those of charter schools, an important outcome was also the differences among public schools. In the context of the educational market, the competitive mechanisms have an impact on the distribution of newly arrived refugees. School with already considerable amount of immigrant pupils received the highest amount of newcomers. Despite the existence of a certain pedagogical readiness and an integrative culture, it could not compensate for the shortage of specialised teachers (or not even graduated teachers) and the insufficiency of classrooms and other facilities (Hansson & Gustafsson 2016). Far from every municipality or school had been engaged in receiving newly arrived refugees. Another conclusion concerns the challenges the head teachers are confronting. They underline the pedagogical difficulties to evaluate the basic qualifications or prior knowledge of the pupils in order to offer appropriate teaching and support. They are also pointing out the shortage of psychological assistance to support the newcomers to handle traumatic experiences. Head teachers responsible for public school are more likely to plead for more professional support, while principals from charter school regard the lack as an argument for not receiving immigrant children. Head teachers for charter school declare they haven’t made any extra arrangements to receive newly arrived children, while head teachers for the public school, and especially within multicultural areas, declare they are trying to build up an organisation to handle the migration situation. This new situation challenges the concept of education for all. Our data indicates severe tensions between the democratic and market logics, as well as between the bureaucratic and educational/professional logics.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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