ERG SES G 12, Cultural Diversity in Education
Values are in the centre of public discussion (Davidov, Schmidt & Schwartz, 2008;) and of scientific interest today – as shows f. e. the European Social Survey, an investigation on changing attitudes and values in Europe (ESS, 2017). Globalization is changing society and thus also the values applied in it (Frey, 2016). Such social changes manifest themselves especially in school, because children/adolescents of different languages, identities and life stories come together (Fürstenau and Gomolla, 2011).
In addition to the educational mission, school has an upbringing mission as well and it can be considered as a central place of social learning (UNESCO, 2006). In relation to children’s and youth’s socialization teacher play a powerful role (Hurrelmann, 2006; UNICEF, 2014). Independently of how socialization is defined, it always results in certain values. But in a society where many different forms of life coexist, the socialization of values demands special requirements to education (Seel & Hanke, 2015).
Value pluralism not only generates challenging tasks for teachers but also for students, especially for those from another culture of origin. During socialization in school students with migration background may experience a conflict between the culture of origin and the culture of migration country (Uslucan, 2008). In the classroom, they must take on new values very quickly. What helps them to succeed in such situations could already be shown, while how they handle them is still widely unexplored (ebd.).
Within the framework of this investigation must be taken into consideration, that South Tyrol with its status of minority group ‒ comparable with other European national minorities like the Catalans in Spain or the “Schlesier” in Poland (Schnebel, 2014) ‒ and with its divided history (e. g. oppression of the German speaking population under fascism) may takes a special position. Such experiences may cause anxieties in front of social change as well as a strong polarisation of traditional and modern values.
According to Rokeach and Ball-Rokeach (1989) there are few values that are common to all human beings. How strong these are pronounced varies depending on cultural, social and personal influences and guides human action. So, Schwartz (1999) defines values as desirable goals, that differ in their importance and are cross-situational guiding principles in life. His 10 basic human values are related to one another whereby they harmonise or conflict and together they form an integrated system, that can be correlated with other variables (Davidov et al., 2008). Moreover, Bubeck and Bilsky (2004) showed that the Schwartz Value structure can be found also in early age (10–17 years).
The main goal of this research is to investigate on the values of students, teachers and parents in order to
(1) examine if value pluralism is given in South Tyrolean schools and which sociodemographic variables could explain these differing values (e. g. What kind of value systems show students/teachers/parents? Can differences in students’/teachers’/parents’ values be found by considering their age, residence, cultural background etc.? Can differences between teachers’ and parents’ values be found by considering their age, residence, cultural background etc.?),
(2) find out if and how students experience value conflict in the classroom and how they manage such situations (e. g. Do children/adolescents in school meet values they don’t know from home? What do they do to handle situations of conflicting values in school?).
The research is based on an explanatory mixed-method-design, starting with a quantitative data collection and analysis followed by a qualitative survey deepening the understanding and giving a voice to the children/adolescents (QUAN -> qual) (Kuckartz, 2014). The quantitative survey consists in collecting students’, teachers’ and parents’ sociodemographic data and their values with the Portraits Value Questionnaire (PVQ) from Schwartz in the German version by Schmidt and colleagues (2008). The sample consists in the primarily in school involved persons: Students aged 10–17, their parents or legal guardians and the teachers who relatively spent the most time with the respective students. That means that the subjects will be recruited by whole classes in different, urban and rural, schools in South Tyrol. The data will consequently be split in sub-samples and evaluated for each classroom. For the calculation of correlations between the importance of certain values and sociodemographic data, to explain which variables might be related with value differences, these sub-samples will be united to a total sample. In the qualitative interviews, a few (5–10) children/adolescents – taken out of the sample of the quantitative survey – are asked about if and how they experience value pluralism in classroom and how they handle or would handle situations of value conflict. The guided interview is oriented on the empirically derived interview strategies by Saywitz and Camparo (2014) to achieve reliable response behaviour. As according to Bilsky (2008) Schwartz’ Theory of Values can be used as a groundwork for discussing about outcomes of studies using other measuring instruments, an amalgamation of the quantitative and qualitative research part will be possible.
The examination of literature and some conversations with practicing teachers give rise to the assumption that value pluralism will be found in South Tyrolean schools. According to Schwartz (1999) the variables that could explain differing values are the culture (= national group) as well as other demographic data. South Tyrol as national minority may takes a special position and a polarisation of traditional and modern values is possible. As communicated by teachers, children/adolescents are expected to experience situations of value conflict in the classroom. But it might be possible that children/adolescents will not recognize such conflicting situations, because the teachers show behaviour that helps the children to cope with them (e. g. positive attitude towards foreigners, tolerance towards other ways of thinking and living, communicative openness towards foreigners) (Uslucan, 2008). Teacher furthermore told about different students’ behaviour in handling value conflicts. It can roughly be divided in 3 categories: overtaking of new/conflicting values, rejection of new/conflicting values and situation-dependent focus on values. The examination of values in school context should help to paint a picture of value pluralism in South Tyrolean schools. The qualitative interviews, instead, give a voice to the students to understand how they experience value pluralism and possible value conflicts. The main goal of the research is to derive pedagogical action that allows a constructive handling of differing values to make school a place where children/adolescents not only have to overtake new values but where they also get the possibility to live their own values, what is an integral part of successful integration (Uslucan, 2008). Or as Banks (2009) states it more generally, children/adolescents in school must be treated as human beings and their cultures and identities should be supported, if we want them to embrace human rights values.
Banks, J. A. (2009). Human Rights, Diversity, and Citizenship Education. The Educational Forum, 73(2), 100 110. Bilsky, W. (2008). Die Struktur der Werte und ihre Stabilität über Instrumente und Kulturen. In E. H. Witte (Hrsg.), Sozialpsychologie und Werte: Beiträge des 23. Hamburger Symposions zur Methodologie der Sozialpsychologie. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers. Bubeck, M. & Bilsky, W. (2004). Value structure at an early age. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 61(1), 31 41. Davidov, E., Schmidt, P. & Schwartz, Sh. H. (2008). Bringing Values Back in: The Adequacy of the European Social Survey to Measure Values in 20 Countries. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 72(3), 420 445. ESS (2017). Prospectus: European Social Survey, European research infrastructure, consortium. Retrieved from http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/about/ESS_prospectus.pdf [15.01.2018] Frey, D. (2016). Psychologie der Werte: Von Achtsamkeit bis Zivilcourage – Basiswissen aus Psychologie und Philosophie. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. Fürstenau, S. & Gomolla, M. (Hrsg.). (2011). Vorwort. In S. Fürstenau & M. Gomolla, Migration und schulischer Wandel: Mehrsprachigkeit (S.7 11) Wiesbaden: Springer. Hurrelmann, K. (2006). Einführung in die Sozialisationstheorie. Weinheim: Beltz. Kuckartz, U. (2014). Mixed Methods: Methodologie, Forschungsdesigns und Analyseverfahren. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Rokeach, M. & Ball-Rokeach, S. (1989). Stability and Change in American Value Priorities, 1968–1981. American Psychologist, 44(5), 775-784. Saywitz, K. J. & Camparo, L. B. (2014). Interviewing Children: A Primer. In G. B. Melton, A. Ben-Arieh, J. Cashmore, G. S. Goodman & N. K. Worley (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Child Research (p. 371 390). Thousand Oaks: SAGE. Schmidt, P., Bamberg, S., Davidov, E., Hermann, J. & Schwartz, Sh. H. (2007). Die Messung von Werten mit dem „Portraits Value Questionnarie“. Zeitschrift für Sozialpschologie (4), 261–275. Schnebel, K. B. (Hrsg.). (2014). Europäische Minderheiten: Im Dilemma zwischen Selbstbestimmung und Integration. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Schwartz, Sh. H. (1999). A Theory of Cultural Values and Some Implications for Work. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 48(I), 23–47. Seel, N. M. & Hanke, U. (2015). Erziehungswissenschaft: Lehrbuch für Bachelor-, Master- und Lehramtsstudierende. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. UNESCO (2006). UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001478/147878e.pdf [26.01.2018] UNICEF (2014). Kinder legen Wert auf ihre Werte: Der Geolino-Unicef-Kinderwertemonitor 2014. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.de/informieren/aktuelles/presse/2014/kinder-legen-wert-auf-werte/56986 [26.01.2018] Uslucan, H.-H. (2008). Die Parallelgesellschaft der Migrantencommunities in Deutschland: Fakt oder Fiktion? In E. H. Witte (Hrsg.), Sozialpsychologie und Werte: Beiträge des 23. Hamburger Symposions zur Methodologie der Sozialpsychologie (p. 276 298). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.
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