26 SES 02 A, Challenges Surrounding Inclusion, Migration and Refugees - The Educational Leadership Context
The increasing immigration of people from other countries rocks the modern image of the homogeneous and sovereign nation state, family, gender and social class as a primary frame of reference. Increased international mobility - human movements across borders – is part of the more general globalization or internationalization processes. Although globalization is not a new phenomenon, recent decades of political and technological developments have led to a faster exchange of commodities, goods, services, information, ideas and people across the world. One of the most important aspects of globalization is that countries are more interdependent - economically and politically (Giddens, 2002), and that people who move contribute to more complex connections across borders and cultures (Kjelstadli, 2003). Another crucial aspect of globalization is the immigration from countries due to war and crisis. Norway, as most other countries in Europe, has since the 1970s increasingly been affected by international mobility, which in turn has included several challenges in different areas. One such area is education. The Norwegian Government established a National Centre for Multicultural Education in 2004 as one of the steps to implement a strategic plan for better learning and greater participation by language minorities in kindergartens, schools and education. Its mandate is to work for competence building, networking and implementing developmental projects with the aim of promoting inclusive and equal education for linguistic minorities in kindergartens, schools and institutions of adult education.
The overall purpose of this study is to improve newly arrived minority students’ culturally and linguistically diverse opportunities and to increase their learning outcomes in schools. Its aim is to develop new insight into the complexity involved in leadership in multicultural schools and to shed light on and discuss school leaders’ contributions regarding inclusive and equity education for culturally and linguistically diverse minority students. To pursue the aims of the study I address the following research question: How do school leaders contribute to inclusion and educational equity for culturally and linguistically diverse minority students? I have narrowed the scope by focusing on one upper secondary school, which has been part of the National Centre for Multucultural Education. This particular school is a pioneer developing two so-called combination classes for newly arrived minority students. The combination refers to minority students and teachers from both upper secondary and secondary schools. In Norway this study contributes to the gap of knowledge as it is first of its kind.
The study involves two main theoretical approaches that pursues the specific research question and the aim of this study. First, I combine inclusive leadership (Ryan, 2003, 2006) and transformative leadership (Shields, 2010). Second, I have chosen a multicultural education approach (Banks, 1993; Banks & Banks, 2001). The approaches draw upon the same epistemological point of departure, i.e. critical theory.
Central aspects of critical theory are to shed light on challenges and dilemmas, and to suggest approaches that may increase promise and hope for the group of people being studied. Hence, approaching the challenges in a linguistically and culturally diverse school context from a critical theoretical point of departure makes it possible to identify structural and dominating forces within schools. Approaches deriving from critical theory raise questions about the educational system’s ability and willingness to create equal opportunities, as it in fact reproduces unequal opportunities (McLaren, 1995; Westrheim, 2004). Schools and other social institutions legitimate and reinforce through specific sets of practices and class-based systems of behavior and dispositions that reproduce the existing dominant society (Oakes & Rogers, 2006). Hence, a critical approach to education enables a critical analysis of schools’ experiences concerning leadership.
I employed a combination of critical qualitative research and an interpretive multiple case study approach. Choosing a case study approach allows me to explore the school leaders’ understanding and perceptions through interviews and observations. Likewise, it provides a potential to investigate expectations addressed to school leaders in the latest Report to the Storting. The informants will consist of the principal, 5 deputy principals, two social advisers, three team leaders, 6 teachers and the head coordinator for the introductory classes. The study will mainly be based on group interviews, individual interviews, and one document analysis of the Report to the Storting. In particular, the study examines how school leaders respond to challenges of inclusion. The study also examines how school leaders perceive multilingualism with regard to learning and social integration for linguistic minority students. In addition, the study examines how the Norwegian Government's expectations pertaining to new demands on leadership are expressed in the latest policy document with regard to a multicultural society. The informants will consist of the principal, 5 deputy principals, two social advisers, three team leaders, 6 teachers and the head coordinator for the introductory classes. The study will mainly be based on group interviews, individual interviews, and one document analysis of the Report to the Storting. In particular, the study examines how school leaders respond to challenges of inclusion. The study also examines how school leaders perceive multilingualism with regard to learning and social integration for linguistic minority students. In addition, the study examines how the Norwegian Government's expectations pertaining to new demands on leadership are expressed in the latest policy document with regard to a multicultural society. I chose interviewing to be the preferred data collection strategy in the study, as it proved to provide me with better data or more data at less cost than other strategies (Merriam, 1998 ). In addition, I designed participant observation as an important part of the field work. Social research is a form of participant observation, which implies that it is not possible to study the social world without being part of it (Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007). Hence, although I was not participating in discussions and decision making with the school leaders, I considered it useful to be able to interact and talk with them.
Vedøy 2008 investigated multicultural schools at the compulsory levels, how leadership is practiced, and how this practice is understood in light of a democratic perspective on leadership. She contends that in terms of a genuine working towards social justice, inclusive, democratic leadership practices and potentially, better student outcomes, a caring approach through a focus on possibilities and respect, not on deficit, is crucial. Andersen (2017) comparing approaches to cultural diversity in schools, found that there was a lack a common leadership strategy. Leaders valued and had an implicit understanding of its importance. He suggests possible possible leadership implications. One is to focus on dialogue about inclusive practices with regard to linguistic issues. Two, there is a need to critically examine practice with regard to multilingualism. Three, school leaders and teachers must have opportunities to deeply understand and seek agreement or knowledge of different points of departure for understanding the role of multilingualism. In sum, the results suggest strengthening the focus on how school leaders can contribute to play a more critical role in developing schools as laying the foundation for transforming of society. The following study adds to the research field by focusing on an upper secondary school context. The school chosen for this study is appointed by The National Centre for Multicultural Education as it has gained recognition for its work with facilitating teaching and learning for newly arrived minority students. Thus, the expected outcomes of this study are good leadership practice and useful knowledge regarding leading learning in a linguistically and culturally divers school context.
Andersen, F.C. (2016). School leadership and linguistic and cultural diversity. Leadership for inclusive education in multicultural upper secondary schools (Thesis submitted for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor, Oslo University). Oslo: Oslo Universtity. Banks, J.A. (1993). Multicultural Education. Development, dimensions, and challenges. Phi Delta Kappan, 75, 22–28. Banks, J.A. (2001). Citizenship Education and Diversity : Implications for Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(1), 4-16. Giddens, A. (2002). Runaway world: How globalisation is reshaping our lives. London: Profile. Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P. (2007). Ethnography: Principles in practice. London: Routledge. Kjelstadli, K. (2003). Norsk innvandringshistore. Nasjonalstatens tid 1814-1940 (Vol. 2). Oslo: Pax. Merriam, S. (1998 ). Qualitative Research and Case Studi Applicsations in Education. San Franscisco Jossey-Bass Publishers. Oakes, J., & Rogers, J. (2006). Learning Power: Organizing for Education and Justice London: Teachers College Press. McLaren, P. (1995). Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture. New York: Routledge. Ryan, J. (2003). Leading diverse schools. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Ryan, J. (2006). Inclusive Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. A Wiley Imprint. Shields, C. (2010). Transformative leadership: Working for equity in diverse contexts. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(4), 558-589. Vedøy, G. (2008). "En elev er en elev", barn er barn" og "folk er folk" - Ledelse i flerkulturelle skoler. (Avhandling for graden philosophiae doctor, Universitetet i Oslo). Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo. Westrheim, K. (2004). Kritisk pedagogikk og multikulturalisme i lys av Freiretradisjonen. Noen sentrale perspektiv [Critical pedagogy and multiculturalism in light of the Freirian tradition: main perspectives]. Nordisk pedagogikk, 3, 212-226.
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