04 SES 07 A, Intercultural Competences For Inclusion: Comparing Different Narratives
The paper focuses on how student’s in adult education narrate sameness and ‘otherness’ (Fludernik, 2007) regarding ethnicity and education in Denmark. Exploring three students’, educational narratives of ‘otherness’, identification and recognition in the context of adult education institutions, their narratives show ambivalence in affiliation with master narratives of adult education and the subject ‘Danish as second language’. The ambivalence of positioning themselves of being and feeling ‘Danish’ and the lack of being acknowledged as fully-fledged members of the ‘Danish culture’ give rise to counter narratives of both in- and exclusion (Syed & Azmitia, 2008). The paper analyses how three student’s narratives constitute both educational and social identities through counter and master narratives of ‘otherness’ and how these relate to their perceptions of ethnicity, education and the subject ‘Danish as second language’.
As the concept of master and counter narratives in an educational setting calls for definitions and explanations, I want to direct attention to that counter narratives are means for resisting socially and culturally-informed master narratives, often oppressive or excluding experiences that diverge from those conveyed through master narratives (Amah, 2012; Matias, 2013; Solorzano & Yosso, 2002; Stanley, 2007). In this perspective, counter or challenging narratives play a role in how students identify themselves as same, different or ‘othered’ regarding the ideologies or values of master narratives about a subject, e.g (Piekut, 2017).
Investigating the relation between master and counter narratives and the concept of ‘othering’, there are interesting similarities and differences between those two, both in a theoretical and analytical sense. As the three students are in transitions in and between educational contexts at the adult centers, there seems to be different constrains afforded to them due to their migration backgrounds, as the master narratives of Danish as second language subject is linked to disadvantages and ‘othering’. As the subject seems to invite to a multilingual approach, the teaching of linguistic ‘norms’ is limited to Danish as the non-negotiable ‘language of schooling’ (Schleppegrel, 2008). Language and literacy practices in L2 are closely tied to the L1 subject even though the subject is designed to meet the needs of non-native, Danish-speaking students, bringing grammar and an appropriate selection of texts into focus. Students who enrol in the L2 course are primarily migrant students and refugees. In general, there has been criticism raised against the courses and the educational system for L2 students in Denmark, because of the lack of enabling immigrants and refugees’ academic skills (Holmen, 2011; OECD, 2010). How this perspective, with a focus on the possible deficiencies of the L2 courses, has an impact on the student narratives and identifications is being explored.
The three students in focus are enrolled in Danish as second language as part of acquiring an upper secondary degree. By being in an adult education context, the students are on the same trajectory as their Danish fellow students, but at the same time different regarding enrolment in the L2 subject. By being in the L2 class, the three students Abir, Faisal and Salma express both belonging as part of an ethnic minority group and at the same time being ‘othered’ as an L2 student for the same reason of ethnicity. Their educational narratives of both the subject and of ethnicity as an identity marker show ambivalence in relation to master and counter narratives. Therefore, a prevalent feature is a complicated dialogue between otherness as part of the students’ identity and the concept of master and counter narratives. How the students identify and position themselves in the L2 subject as same, different and ‘othered’ in master and counter narratives of the subject will be in focus.
The method for the study is narrative inquiry as an overall approach, observations inside and outsides of L2-classes and interviews with teachers and primarily with the students in focus. The study of the student’s participants educational narratives is part of a larger study on narratives in and about adult education. My background data for this study derives from four different adult centers in Denmark, geographically spread around the country (small, middle and large Adult Centers in different parts of the country) and consists of observations of L2 courses (about 30 hours over the academic year 2015-2016), semi-structured interviews with the teachers of the courses and informal talks with the students. As this is background data, guiding and informing my key data, the narrative interviews with four L2 students at one adult education center in a large Danish town also serve as implicit ‘thick description’ (Geertz, 1973). Thick description highlights the importance of understanding the educational narratives as embedded in specialized and contextual institutional cultures. While the interviews where taken during the students’ one-year L2 course, I had three in-depth interviews (Alheit & Dausien, 2006; Horsdal, 2012) with each of them, supplemented with informal talks and text messages about e.g. exams. The duration of each interview was about one hour. By approaching the participants in a narrative interview, the methodology is interactional and understood as a dynamic co-construction of these narratives (Bamberg, 2011; Horsdal 2012; Mishler, 1999). Employing the narrative interview in research, Horsdal (2012) accentuates the interpersonal interaction and points to the attentive and responsive co-construction of meaning in the interview. Mishler enhances the narrative interview as a dialogical meaning-negotiating process and a way to perform identities (1999:19). This brings attention to positioning and the way students relate to, confirm or contest dominant narratives in their own “storied” educational life. As such, the interviewer is part of the meaning-making process, as both the interviewer and the interviewee collaboratively construct narratives in the narrative encounter. Gubrium and Holstein also accentuate the interactional aspect of narration: “The theme and content of a story cannot be divorced from its interactional development and the ongoing construction of meaningful contexts. […] who do we know who owns a story? Perhaps a text does, or the interaction or situation from which a story emerges” (2009, p. 107). Following this line of thinking, we can’t analyze the students’ narratives as isolated phenomena, but must take the context and situation into account.
Attention to othering and master and counter-narratives can provide insight into how students in an institutional context identify with, reject or positions themselves against the backdrop of L2 as a subject and offer an insight into the heterogeneity of the student’s identities and individualized, yet concordant, versions of the subject’s values and affordances. What does the concept of othering provide to the concept of counter and master narratives? Othering can be an ambiguous affair since it sometimes implies its opposite, namely belonging, but the relational aspect between othering and belonging is not as unequivocal as it is for master and counter narratives. The ambiguity also counts for the marginalizing aspects of othering, since being an ‘other’ is not by definition as much a part of marginalization or essentializing as ‘othering’ is; being an ‘other’ in the perspective of Bakhtin’s (1993) aesthetic empathizing can potentially be liberating, comprehending both the ‘self’ and the ‘other’, while ‘othering’ as part of marginalizing individuals or groups weakens the empathy and understanding of those being ‘othered’. The same counts for master narratives. Master narratives of ‘deficient students’ or master narratives of excluded minorities can be resisted by counter narratives, renegotiating and critically evaluating the oppressive cultural script. Master narratives are overarching cultural scripts with including or excluding characteristics, where ‘otherness’ or ‘othering’ can take different paths in the overriding (master)narratives. Not all master narratives are predictably oppressive, but all processes of ‘othering’ are. As a rationale for this paper is to understand how ethnic identity refers to individual and group identity and education, an interesting launchpad was to explore the relationship to and between otherness and master and counter narratives. In the narratives of the students, we come closer to a sense of clarity regarding ethnicity and belonging to a minority in their educational life.
Alheit, P., & Dausien, B. (2006). Biographieforschung in der Erwachsenenbildung. In H. H. Krüger & W. Marotzki (Eds.), Handbuch Erziehungswissenschaftliche Biographieforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Amah, I. A. (2012). “Counter-narratives of non-high performing African American students. International Review of Qualitative Research 5, 2: 225-250. Bakhtin, M.M. (1993). Toward a Philosophy of the Act. In Liapunov V. & Holquist M. (eds.) Toward a Philosophy of the Act. University of Texas Press: Austin. Bamberg, M. (2011) Who am I? Narration and its contribution to self and identity. Theory & Psychology, 21 (1), 3–24. Clandinin, D. J.(Ed.) (2007). Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology. London: SAGE Publications. Dervin, F. (2016). Interculturality in Education. A Theoretical and Methodological Toolbox. Palgrave Macmillan. Fludernik, M. (2007). Identity/alterity. In Herman. D. (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Narrative, Cambridge University Press: New York. Gubrium J.F. & Holstein J.A. (2009). Analyzing Narrative Reality. SAGE Holmen, A. (2011). Den gode gartner og ukrudtet – Om minoritetselever I grundskolens danskfag. In C. Haas, C. Holmen, A., Horts, C. & Bergthóra, K. (Eds.), Ret til dansk – uddannelse, sprog og kulturarv. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag. Horsdal, M. (2012). Telling lives. Exploring dimensions of narratives. Routledge: New York Matias, C. E. (2013). Who you callin’ white?! A critical counter-story on colouring identity. Race Ethnicity and Education, 16(3), 291–315 Merill, B., & West, L. (2009). Using biographical methods in social research. London: SAGE Publishing. Mishler, E. G. (1999). Storylines. Craftartists’ narratives of identity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. OECD (2010), Closing the gap for immigrant students: Policies, practice and performance. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/9789264075788-en Piekut, A. (2017), “Brown eyes are not the same as blue eyes”. Educational narratives, identities and positioning in adult education in Denmark. Narrative Inquiry, 27(2), 378-397. Schleppegrel, M. J. (2004). The Language of Schooling. A Functional Linguistics Perspective. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah: New Jersey. Stanley, C. A. (2007). When counter narratives meet master narratives in the Journal EditorialReview Process. Educational Researcher 36, 1: 14-24 Syed, M., & Azmitia, M. (2008). A narrative approach to ethnic identity in emerging adulthood: Bringing life to the identity status model. Developmental Psychology, 44(4), 1012-1027. Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical race methodology: Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for educational research. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23–44.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.