10 SES 13 C, Second Class Teachers? – Practices of Further Education and Employment of Teachers with Refugee Background
This paper explores the challenges well-qualified teachers and pre-service teachers who arrived in Austria as refugees within the last 3 years face. Despite a severe lack of teachers in certain subjects in certain regions, these professionals are denied access to the labour market due to a number of restrictions. This includes the non-conformity of curricula of teacher training due to the following facts: 1. In Austria, teachers in secondary education (lower and upper secondary schools) need to study two subjects for their teacher exam (except certain subjects). Many of the teachers from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan have only studied one subject, which is also the case in some European countries. 2. In many of the countries of origin of teachers with refugee background, there is no obligation to get training in pedagogy; in Austria on the other hand this is a fixed part of teacher education. Similar to other European countries, vocational provision is patchy and educational counselling services are sometimes far from the teachers’ realities or uninformed, as far from the market’s need and preferences. For so called ‘refugee-teachers’, there would only be the possibility to get practical experiences with the Austrian education system in non-formal educational settings. The lack of efforts to provide immediate training to enable easy non-bureaucratic access to further education or teaching practicals is even more remarkable considering the high level of diversity in Austrian classrooms. In Vienna, some schools can have up to 90% of students with migrant (family) background (Statistik Austria 2016). Nevertheless, reference on the topic of interculturality, internationalisation and cultural competence are often only side-remarks in Austria’s teacher training programs (Hornberg & Schemmann, 2001). Unfortunately, there are no figures on the total number of teachers with refugee background at the moment in Austria, and also not on levels of qualification they have, subjects they have taught. Thus, a small-scale study was initiated in summer 2016 to collect first - hand accounts of teachers with refugee background. The goal via a participatory research approach was to document educational biographies, job aspirations and a collection of curricula of teacher education in the respective countries of origin. Especially, the curricula can be of great importance as many teachers could not transport their teacher certificate from their home countries, and as many universities cannot provide curricula for their studies at the moment. So far an intermediate report has been compiled and will be presented.
Hornberg, S. & Schemmann, M. (2001): Stand und Perspektiven international und interkulturell orientierter pädagogischer Berufsfelder - In: Tertium comparationis 7(2), pp. 91-98 Statistik Austria (2016). Schulen, Schulbesuch. Available at: http://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bildung_und_kultur/formales_bildungswesen/schulen_schulbesuch/index.html
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