07 SES 08 B, Recently Immigrated Teachers in Europe between Inclusion and Exclusion: (Re-)Professionalisation through bridging programs
This paper elaborates the process of participatory transcultural planning (Nind & Vinha 2014; Temple & Moran 2006) and implementation of a course for secondary school teachers with refugee background in Austria. Jolted by UNHCR Austria, funded by means of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Vienna School Board and the Unemployment Services Vienna and Lower Austria, the unique course started in September 2017 at the Postgraduate Center of the University of Vienna. It offers (re-)qualification to 23 teachers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Chechnya, and Tadzhikistan by provision of one of three necessary pillars to become a secondary school teacher. All participants had acquired a Bachelor’s degree in their countries of origin and worked as teachers in secondary schools. In their new host country, teachers are obliged to study 2 relevant subjects (pillar I and II) and acquire a basic qualification in educational studies accompanied by mandatory practical studies (pillar III). After successfully completing the one-year-course (40 ECTS and German classes to gain level C1), alumni can apply for a specialized contract and fulfil additional requirements (pillar II) at a later point. The identification of prospective participants proved one of the main challenges as qualifications of those arrived had in many cases only been marginally, wrong or not at all assessed (Kohlenberger 2017). These gaps could only be corrected through readiness of small wheels (e.g. unemployment services) to collaborate in the implementation. The structure set up to navigate beyond partly rather absurd legal regimes built around this group (recently immigrated refugees) in the aftermath of the so-called crisis (2015) proved fragile and complex. With current political developments in Austria, the continuation of the course is insecure. Developments might also impact the situation of children who recently had to flee to Austria and other parts of the world (Taylor & Sidhu 2012). Teachers passing the above mentioned or similar qualification could serve as key to functioning and sustainable inclusion of pupils and their families. This paper will highlight experiences from a multi-stakeholder perspective based on an assessment which is currently underway. One-on-one interview with participants are being conducted and will be analyzed in a participatory group setting. Additionally, teacher trainers took part in regular exchanges and experiences with other stakeholders were documented. Sources of data are currently being refined and approaches reassessed. Findings at the background of political changes will be elaborated further.
Kohlenberger, J. (2017). Was Geflüchtete des Herbsts 2015 mitbringen: Bildung, Humankapital & Zukunftspläne. Ausgewählte Ergebnisse aus dem Displaced Persons in Austria Survey (DiPAS). Presentation at the conference ‚Forced Migration and Education‘ at the University of Vienna in November 2017. http://minderheiten.at/images/3_Bildung_und_Flucht_11-11-2017_PDF.pdf Nind, M. & Vinha, H. (2014). Doing research inclusively: bridges to multiple possibilities in inclusive research. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42 (2), pp. 102-109. Taylor, S. & Sidhu, R. K. (2012). Supporting refugee students in schools: What constitutes inclusive education?. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16 (1), pp. 39-56. Temple, B. & Moran, R. (Eds.). (2006). Doing research with refugees: Issues and guidelines. Policy Press.
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