07 SES 08 B, Recently Immigrated Teachers in Europe between Inclusion and Exclusion: (Re-)Professionalisation through bridging programs
In 2016, as part of a new labour market policy, the Swedish government launched a fast-track education programme for recently immigrated teachers, Snabbspåret. This political action has two objectives: to counter the shortage of labour in schools, and, to shorten recently immigrated teachers path to establish themselves in schools and preschools (SOU 2016: 35). Thus, the fast-track programme is framed by policy discourse of labour market inclusion. The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between recognition of recently immigrated teachers’ professionalism and institutional conditions in the Swedish school. Our case study concerns recently immigrated teachers participating in the fast-track education programme at Stockholm University and their re-professionalisation process in a new institutional context. We use an institutional theoretical framework (Meyer & Rowan 2006; Scott 2014) to consider trust and legitimacy as key issues for acceptance on institutional and practical levels. Further, the work of Evetts (2013) is of relevance to give an account of assumptions of teacher professionalism. This paper poses the following questions: What formal and informal institutional conditions affect the re-professionalisation process of recently immigrated teachers? How do they respond to these institutional conditions? In order to answer these questions, we have conducted a qualitative study based on focus group interviews with participants in the fast-track education programme and focus group interviews with their supervisors and educators in the programme. In the analysis of empirical data, we have identified Swedish language skills, the formal curriculum, informal values and routines as key aspects in the re-professionalisation process. The immigrated teachers interviewed negotiate these institutional conditions by learning and blending new and prior professional experiences and practices. Our study shows that formal and informal rules and practices in school operate as mechanisms and procedures of both inclusion and exclusion. While recently immigrated teachers are qualified professional teachers, they struggle to articulate and perform practices to be recognised as professional teachers in the Swedish school. We argue that immigrant teachers' negotiations of institutional conditions also open for the possibility to affect these institutional conditions and teachers’ professional identity. The study highlights the importance of studying different ways of shaping and modulating immigrated teachers’ professional in the interplay between the formation of teacher professionalization and institutional conditions.
Evetts, J. 2013. Professionalism: Value and ideology. Current Sociology, 61(5-6). Meyer, H-D. & Rowan, B. 2006. The New Institutionalism in Education. USA: State University of New York. Scott, R. 2014. Institutions and Organizations. Ideas, Interests, and Identities. Sage publications. SOU 2016 [Swedish Government Official Reports]. Utredningen om utbildning för nyanlända. Vägen in till det svenska skolväsendet. [The Investigation on Education for Newly Arrived Immigrants. The road to the Swedish school system: final report. Stockholm: Wolters Kluwer.
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