07 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session - NW 07
General Poster Session
The emergence of educational programs for democracy and citizenship education can be described as an international trend recent years (Tudball, 2015), and current societal developments make it even more pertinent. In the Norwegian context, democracy is highlighted in the new core curriculum. As the recently approved policy document Overarching curriculum makes clear, democracy and inclusion are deeply interrelated: “protecting the minority is a vital principle in a democratic state and society. A democratic society also shields indigenous peoples and minorities” (Norwegian Directory for Education and Training [UDIR], p. 9). The statement reflects how Norwegian minority politics is based on the structure put forward by Kymlicka on differentiation of citizenship rights within liberal democracies (Kymlicka, 1995). The Sami peoples hold extensive rights as collective, with formal status in Norway as indigenous peoples. Although the legal and formal recognition of the Sami in Norway is considered an international success among indigenous movements, lived realities appears more ambiguous. Today, there is not only talk about revitalizing Sami culture but also about processes of cumulative discrimination and decolonization (Vars, 2017)The Norwegian self-image is based on being innocent of colonization. Yet policies towards the Sami population in the 19th and 20th centuries can be regarded as internal colonization or “colonial complicity” (Eidsvik, 2012). A large proportion of Norwegian Sami still experience discrimination related to ethnic identity, including structural and indirect discrimination. What might be left out in a singular focus on formal and legal aspects of citizenship, are more tacit processes of cultural identity, exclusion and epistemic violence highly relevant for the educational context.
The strategies of the Norwegian government towards inclusion of the Sami in education has followed different avenues. Within the ancestral homeland Sápmi/Sábme/Saepmie located in Northern Norway, Sami schools with customized curriculum has been established. This is described as a strategy of indigenization. However, as most pupils with Sami backgrounds today live and go to school outside these areas (Gjerpe, 2017), there is also a strategy of mainstreaming. This refers to how indigenous history and culture is seen as part of the common cultural heritage for the whole nation, and thus that all pupils should have knowledge of Sami history and culture regardless of their ethnic affiliations (Olsen, 2017).
Based on the above, the leading research questions guiding this paper is:
- What discursive images of the nation, Saminess and Norwegianness are constructed in education on Sami history and culture?
- How is the idea of “mainstreaming” of Sami perspectives operationalized in non-indigenous educational contexts?
The paper draws on perspectives from critical pedagogy, seeking to expose how power relations and inequality is manifested and challenged within education (Apple, Au, & Gandin, 2009; Freire, 2000). The work is also highly inspired by postcolonialism and notably ideas on construction of the Other (Said, 1995), and how these constructions are interrelated with hegemonic discourses of national imaginary (Anderson, 1991). Resonating well with the vision of critical theories to enable social change, I also explore what opportunities educational discourses and content provide for democratic education. These questions are approached by applying the discussions of inclusive and anti-oppressive pedagogy by Kevin Kumashiro, (2002), and the pedagogical concept of subjectification posed by Gert Biesta (2014). Kumashiro argues that many approaches to diversity in education fail to focus on structural relations and power, and implicitly positions minorities as Others. In order to enable social change, education must entail disruptive knowledge, not simply more knowledge (2002). This necessary condition of uncertainty for enabling learning is paralleled in Biesta’s idea of education as an arena for democratic subjectivity and coming into being in a world of difference.
The empirical basis for this paper is excerpts from a PhD.-project exploring constructions of national imaginary within social studies education in Norwegian primary schools. The research design is highly inspired by the idea of comparative case study approach (CCS). The concept was recently posed as a response to inadequacies of traditional case studies, emphasizing the importance of looking at social phenomenon across different axes and scales rather than as bounded entities (Bartlett & Vavrus, 2017). Thus, the approach entails a triangulation of different methodological tools. The empirical material applied in this paper include observations of social studies lectures focused on the Sami Peoples` day from four different classrooms at levels 5-7, as well as in-depth interviews with teachers and copies of materials produced by pupils when working with the topic. The material also include critical discourse analysis of the presentation of Sami culture and history in eight social studies textbooks (Fairclough, 2010). Qualitative inquiries searching for meaning involve open-ended and processual orientations. This demands following the inquiry in an iterative, emergent research design. Within critical theory, this has been described by the image of the bricolage as emancipatory research construct (Kincheloe, Maclaren, & Steinberg, 2011). This is informed by the fundamental notion that all knowledge is historically and socially constituted. Working within a qualitative and critical framework, this paper presents theoretically informed interpretations of narratives and social processes (Røthing, 2017) appearing in the classroom and textbooks. Rather than following a quest for “naïve realism”, the researcher as bricoleur has to be continuouslyfocused on clarification and reflection upon her social positioning and situatedness of the researcher. In this regard, the challenges posed by indigenous research methodologies to epistemological positioning and privilege (Smith, 2010) is imperative to discuss in a work involving indigenous culture and history.
This paper presents preliminary findings from a PhD.-project exploring constructions of national imaginary within social studies education in Norwegian primary schools. The findings presented are related to the role of the indigenous Sami in narratives about the Norwegian nation. Findings imply that the Sami are essentialized and actively constructed as the Other through both the structure and content of narratives. This corresponds to the strategy described in anti-oppressive education as education for the Other (Kumashiro, 2002). Externalization of the Sami from the story of the Norwegian national day and in particular, exclusion of the discriminatory politics towards the Sami, reinforce a discursive image of the Norwegian state as inherently good. Interestingly, although many non-Sami Norwegian pupils seem to have inclusive attitudes towards minorities and the Sami in particular, they actively externalize and “other” the Sami when discussing their own identities. Counter-hegemonic discourses are located in the material, but the possibility of anti-oppressive education is highly depending upon the teacher to take on these opportunities. Highlights of the findings include: *The indigenous Sami is conceptualized as the Other, representing a reified and homogenous culture *In terms of identification, Saminess is actively negotiated by pupils as referring to the Other *Textbooks and teaching do not clearly respond to inclusive intention in curriculum and policy *When actively challenged by the teacher, pupils are able to critically examine the ideas of minority, majority and privilege
Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities : reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (Rev. ed. ed.). London: Verso. Apple, M., Au, W., & Gandin, L. s. A. (2009). The Routledge international handbook of critical education. In Routledge international handbook series. Bartlett, L., & Vavrus, F. (2017). Rethinking case study research : a comparative approach. New York: Routledge. Biesta, G. J. (2014). Utdanningens vidunderlige risiko. Bergen: Fagbokforl. Eidsvik, E. (2012). Colonial Discourse and Ambivalence: Norwegian Participants on the Colonial Arena in South Africa. In K. Loftsdottir & L. Jensen (Eds.), Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region. London: Routledge. Fairclough, N. (2010). Critical discourse analysis : the critical study of language (2nd ed. ed.). Harlow: Longman. Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed. ed.). New York: Continuum. Gjerpe, K. K. (2017). Samisk læreplanverk en symbolsk forpliktelse? ; en begrepsanalyse av det samiske innholdet i læreplanverket Kunnskapsløftet og Kunnskapsløftet samisk. Nordic studies in education, 37(3-4), 150-165. Kincheloe, J., Maclaren, P., & Steinberg, S. (2011). Critical pedagogy and Qualitative research: Moving to the bricolage. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (4 ed., pp. 163-178). California: SAGE. Kumashiro, K. K. (2002). Troubling education : queer activism and antioppressive education. In. Kymlicka, W. (1995). Multicultural citizenship : a liberal theory of minority rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Olsen, T. A. (2017). Colonial Conflikcts: Absence, Inclusion and Indigenization in Textbook Presentations of Indigenous Peoples. In B. O. Andreassen, J. Lewis, & S. A. Thobro (Eds.), Textbook Violence: Equinox eBooks Publishing. Røthing, Å. (2017). Sexual orientation in Norwegian science textbooks: Heteronormativity and selective inclusion in textbooks and teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67, 143-151. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.005 Said, E. W. (1995). Orientalism (Repr. with a new afterword. ed.). London: Penguin Books. Smith, L. T. (2010). Decolonizing Methodologies. Research and Indigenous Peoples. London/New York: Zed Books. Tudball, L. (2015). Citizenship Education Research in Varied Contexts: Reflections and Future Possibilities. A Review Essay. Research in Comparative and International Education, 10(1), 151-163. doi:10.1177/1745499915571722 Vars, S. (2017). Samene i Norge: Fra fornorsking til forsoning? [Norwegian Sami. From Norwegianization to reconciliation]. In N. Brandal, C. A. Døving, & I. T. Plesner (Eds.), Nasjonale minoriteter og urfolk i norsk politikk fra 1900 til 2016 [National minorities and indigenous peoples in Norwegian politics from 1900 to 2016]. Oslo: Cappelen Damm.
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