07 SES 09 A, Inclusion of Newcomers and Refugees Part 3
Paper Session continued from 07 SES 06 A, to be continued in 07 SES 11 A
One topic of education in an era of risk is the forced migration of people from crisis and war zones worldwide. Among those arriving in Europe are representable numbers of academics, also including teachers, depending on the country of origin (Buber-Ennser et al. 2015). In Germany, for example, around 11,000 of people who have worked in teaching professions applied for asylum in 2016 (Neske 2017). In connection with the current migration also to other European countries, a central question is how children, young people, and adults with their qualifications and expertise can cope with the transition to the education system as well as the labour market. In this way, not only the living conditions in the countries of origin as well as migration itself come into view as a risk for education and lifelong learning. Furthermore, access to the central societal areas of education and qualification in the host societies is also potentially risky if qualifications are not recognised, existing knowledge cannot be proved or do not weigh equally. At this point, for some professional groups adaptation, training and bridging programmes are offered in the host societies. Some of these programmes explicitly address (recently) immigrated and refugee teachers.
In our paper, we would like to examine the question of whether and how the teachers addressed by such programmes have the opportunity to participate in the design of these programmes. This also includes the question which persons are regarded as qualified to implement educational offers for recently immigrated people or/and can help to develop them? This paper stresses a participatory approach for implementation and research alike. This focus is extremely relevant as opportunities for participation in the design of educational provision have an impact on how recently arrived immigrants are perceived in the education system and how the expertise they came with are dealt with. The collaborative work of teachers with refugee/migrant background with researchers brings together different perspectives in the field of further education training for and with recently immigrated people can be seen as high potential. This can relate to the conception, implementation, and evaluation of educational offers as well as corresponding research.
A participative approach is presented within the scope of the EU-funded project "R/Equal – Requalification of (recently) immigrated and refugee teachers in Europe”. The project focuses on building an international network to exchange and improve the expertise in higher education training and to implement requalification programs for internationally educated teachers. On the basis of a transnational comparison, four Programmes in Sweden, Austria and Germany have been analysed under the perspective of participative options and limitations. According to the stage model of participation (Wright, van Unger, and Block 2010), the different stages of participation throughout the process will be depicted. Options and limitations in participation shall be discussed. Following a participatory approach, alumnis and current participants of these education programmes in the three countries act as co-researchers adding their professional perspective and expertise as part of the comparative analysis to conduct a transnational framework. To do so, all programme partners asked their participants and alumnis if they want to join on the research. In a next step, questions from the participants/alumnis of all partner, programmes were collected. From this, participants and alumnis of the Viennese Programme developed an interview guideline, which was then used to interview participants/alumnis of all partner programmes via Skype conferences. Subsequently, the transcripts were analysed by the participants doing a content analysis using inductive coding (Mayring 2015). This research is based on an understanding of empowerment as a "methodological concept" (Ross 2017), through which research strategies come into view that show possible dynamics of inequality in research situations and to develop multi-perspective interpretations. According to Brydon-Miller (1997, 657), the participatory approach “refers both to research practices that create social change and in the process transform those participating in the research as well as to a fundamental transformation of the field”.
The interviews with the participants stress the particular importance of the practical experience within the programmes. This topic is directly linked to the central question of connecting opportunities after the programme. Is it possible to work "regularly" in the school system and what (further) access options are possible? This is a comprehensible question with regard to one's own life planning. However, this concrete interest is also linked to broader questions about the recognition and value of previous life achievements, professional knowledge and skills in the host societies as part of the discourse on educational and occupational opportunities in migration societies. In regard to the programmes structures, this brings the phase after the end of the bridging programmes into focus. It becomes clear that individual counselling does not finish at the end of the programmes, but that the counselling and involvement of alumni are of great importance. Finally, the possibilities for partially participatory action and research will be addressed and reflected upon using the example of R/Equal.
Brydon-Miller, Mary. 1997. Participatory Action Research: Psychology and Social Change. In: Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 53, No. 4, 1997, 657 - 666. Mayring, Philip. 2015. Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse: Grundlagen und Techniken. Weinheim, Basel: Beltz. Neske, Matthias. 2017. Volljährige Asylerstantragsteller in Deutschland im Jahr 2016: Sozialstruktur, Qualifikationsniveau und Berufstätigkeit. BAMF-Kurzanalyse 2, 2017. Ross, Karen. 2017. Making Empowering Choices: How Methodology Matters for Empowering Research Participants. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol. 18, No. 3, Art. 12. Wright, Michael T., von Unger, Hella, & Block, Martina. 2010. Partizipation der Zielgruppe in der Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention. In Michael T. Wright (Ed.), Partizipative Qualitätsentwicklung in der Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber, 35 - 52. Buber-Ennser, Isabella, Kohlenberger, Judith, Rengs, Bernhard, Al Zalak, Zakarya, Goujon, Anne, Striessnig, Erich, Potančoková, Michaela, Gisser, Richard, Testa, Maria Rita Testa, & Lutz, Wolfgang. 2016. Human capital, values, and attitudes of persons seeking refuge in Austria in 2015. PLoS one, Vol. 11, No 9.
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