20 SES 11, Issues of Inclusion: Teachers' identity and intercultural practices
Paper/Ignite Talk Session
Libraries, where now are “seen as modern learning hubs close to citizens and (potential) learners,” (Lison & Reip, 2016, p. 9) have been changing and adding new roles and identities to their existing traditional ones. They have been moving beyond the traditional conceptualization of book and culture. Moreover expanding their role in local communities in helping people acquire new skills or improve their skills through different lifelong strategies / opportunities is crucial for social inclusion as well. Lison and Reip (2016) underline that libraries now should offer “a neutral and trusted space for people to create, learn and connect” (p. 9). IFLA also considers public libraries as crucial actors in effective and efficient integration of migrants and refugees. This is exactly the vision we had before we developed the idea of the project. Being a low-threshold public service that everyone can reach, their involvement in projects like LIB(e)RO becomes more important for creating the inclusive societies in which migrants and refugees can take part in every aspect of life.
Implementation of the concept social inclusion in adult education and, in general, in lifelong learning is still relatively new, and especially its wider use for the development of professional training for adult educators, trainers and pedagogical personnel is not common at all. Approaches and requirements for a socially inclusive adult education were combined with spatial concepts in order to be able to illuminate empirically the needs and the needs of the "excluded" individuals (see Mania, 2014). Among these attempts, the LiB(e)Ro project is now the first time that with an adult education perspective, a space for a marginalized group is created in an informal learning location which is accessible to all people of all ages and backgrounds, in order to achieve learning outcomes with regard to language learning and intercultural education
UNESCO (2003) defines inclusive education as “providing appropriate responses to the broad spectrum of learning needs in formal and non-formal educational settings” (p. 7). This is what was aimed in the study, by reaching out the minor and young refugees who are marginalized and have a disadvantaged situation even though it is temporary and supporting them in their learning a new language, a new culture and in starting a new life. As most of these minors and young adult refugees are out of the compulsory school age (See Keser Aschenberger & Kil, 2017), it is important to respond to their learning needs in a flexible and accessible way through e-learning. A non-institutional learning setting, as a library, is a more open and less intimidating place as their main task is not teaching. Thus libraries occupy a crucial place in supporting non-formal and in-formal learning and by transforming libraries into safe and multicultural and inclusive learning environments, they gain a new status. In our case, libraries were used as non-institutional learning space and refugees will be addressed by social workers and librarians. As it was stated in the needs analysis report (See WIFO, 2017) especially those who live in remote rural areas without any access to educational opportunities are in need of low threshold and local offers.
Based on the framework described above, this study aims at providing a framework for using libraries as safe and socially inclusive learning spaces for multicultural/intercultural learning. It presents the results of the final evaluation of the learning platform that was conducted within the project.
This study is part of an EU Project which was conducted in three EU countries, Austria, Germany and Greece. Within the project, mainly a qualitative research methodology was followed. However, for the final evaluation part mixed method was utilized. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews, evaluation questionnaires, and observation forms during the pilot tests of the platform. Evaluation tools were developed by the project team. Within the frame of the national evaluation of LIB(e)RO 8 testing sessions took place in the three partner countries (4 in Austria, 2 in Germany, 2 in Greece) with 42 participants (21 refugee learners and 21 trainers). The LIB(e)RO testing partners organized these tests and observed the testing situation. In Austria, 4 tests were implemented by our testing partner komm.bib. The aim was to test different types and sizes of libraries, thus receiving insights into how LIB(e)RO might work differently in different contexts. For example, the libraries tested varied from small village libraries (in a village of 2.500 inhabitants) to Vienna library. In Germany, 2 tests were implemented by our testing partner WIFO in local libraries in Passau. In Greece, the tests were implemented by our two testing partners National Library of Greece and Action Synergy. Data is analysed by the Danube University Krems following descriptive data analysis for quantitative data and inductive coding for qualitative data.
Librarians who participated in the pilot tests really worked with an online platform solved the exercises and appreciated the value of the platform for their work or for their learning. They tried all the features and wanted to get to know the different themes and possibilities. Most of them want to use the platform for their training with unaccompanied minors or other young migrant grownups when teaching the language or just when they visit the library. Based on the findings, the following conclusions can be drawn: their interest in the contents of the project was very high. Many are already implementing activities in the context of intercultural library work to which the contents of our project provide the theoretical background, thus contributing to their lifelong education. Also, particularly German teachers found the platform as a useful tool which they can supplement their own learning units for refugees on the specific contents. What we can conclude as a synthesis of our observation and evaluation of the pilot tests and final conference and other dissemination events, there are so many librarians who would like to transform their libraries to open up to not only refugees but everyone else who needs a safe learning environment. Of course, this transformation is neither easy nor short with immediate impact. It will take time to perform the leap, yet we believe our platform will serve the need in this area, not only with the language learning part for refugees but especially with the part for librarians and social workers. To be able to reach this goal we considered all of the concerns, needs, expectations, critiques, and comments from our participants and we will present some recommendations for creating multicultural, socially inclusive and safe learning spaces in libraries.
IFLA/UNESCO. (2012). Multicultural Library Manifesto-Implementation kit. https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/library-services-to-multicultural-populations/publications/ifla-unesco-multicultural-library-manifesto_implementation-kit_2012-12.pdf Lison, B., & Reip, N. (2016). The New Role of Public Libraries in Local Communities. In Research for Cult Committee- The New Role of Public Libraries in Local Communities. Directorate-General or Internal Policies, Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies, Culture and Education. European Parliament: Brussels. Mania, E. (2014). Lernen im Quartier: Sozialraum in der Erwachsenenbildung: Ein Blick in die Praxis und Wissenschaft. Erwachsenenbildung. Vierteljahresschrift für Theorie und Praxis, 60(3), 14-17. UNESCO (2005). Guidelines for Inclusion: Ensuring Access to Education for All. Paris: UNESCO
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
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