04 SES 08 B, What We Learned (And Will Learn) About Inclusion From The Pandemic
Most European countries are facing a new dimension of international migration, forced by war, misery and missing perspectives, especially for young people. The VET systems play an important role for these (former) refugees and new immigrants in relation to their long term professional perspective and social integration (de Petris, 2018; UNESCO, 2019, p.143ff.). In accordance with the wide understanding of inclusion, all countries therefore need to ensure the availability of high-quality vocational education for all individuals, regardless of personal attributes such as ethnical background, race, religion, language or special educational needs, in every learning setting and with special respect to the worldwide refugees and migrants (UNESCO, 2020).
In parallel, the COVID-19 pandemic brought up new challenges for vocational schools to address their diverse learners in mainly digital learning settings. Especially learners from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, such as refugees and new immigrants, are at risk of fundamentally lacking access to these digital educational possibilities, which in turn reinforces underlying problems of educational injustice (e.g. Anger et al., 2011; Lietzmann & Wenzig, 2020; Blundell et al., 2020; Beaunoyer et al., 2020; Engzell et al., 2020). In this way, the existing challenges faced by refugees and new immigrants in vocational apprenticeships (comp. Ternès et al., 2017; Daschner, 2017; Wössmann, 2016; BpB; 2020, Vogel & Schleiermann, 2019) are at risk of being amplified by additional barriers, introduced with the mandatory usage of the digital learning structures put in place as a response to the current pandemic.
The digitalization within VET had to be designed ad hoc, without a pre-planned preparation of teachers and learners for how to adapt their teaching and learning to these rapid changes. For a more structurally sound future development, it is now important to get an evaluative insight into the participants´ point of view - thus making it possible to derive design principles that address all learners` needs.
The presentation connects to these issues as it summarizes the results of a research project conducted with young refugees/new immigrants who are taking part in a university mentoring programme. Within the programme, vocational teacher students support the mentees in their regular vocational apprenticeships in weekly 1-to-1 mentoring meetings. In the Context of COVID-19, the mentees had to adapt not only to the specific digital learning approach of their respective vocational school but also in the digital realization of the mentoring meetings.
The presentation seeks to address this challenging and complex new situation along two research questions.
- What are the specific challenges of refugees/new immigrants in vocational apprenticeships in Germany connected to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic constraints?
- What are the consequences of these challenges for their learning processes and competences from their personal point of view?
The objectives of the research project are different with respect to the two research questions:
- The project aims to collect data about the experiences and challenges of the refugees/new immigrants connected to the pandemic changes in learning
- The project aims to identify consequences for the learners` competences. Personal impressions and reflections from the mentors are to be combined with mentee-interviews for a comparative analysis of self-perception and the perception of others.
Based on the research results the project aims to identify didactical aspects that are critical for successful digital learning of the described learner group. This includes potential implications for equal educational opportunities of refugees/new immigrants in digital learning processes, their educational success and social inclusion. Therefore, design principles for home schooling and digital learning are to be derived from the data.
In order to answer the research questions, the presentation demonstrates results derived from qualitative data collection in the summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21 with 66 refugees/new immigrants in vocational apprenticeships, attending the university mentoring programme led by the authors. The learners are apprentices in different training professions. A qualitative and quasi-experimental research-design was chosen as the authors consider the combination of refugee-specific challenges with challenges introduced by mandatory digital learning schemes to be essentially new and therefore potentially incompatible with existing research regarding for example digital competencies or educational injustice upon which a quantitative research-design could have been based. Furthermore, the unique access to the usually elusive target-group enabled by the overarching mentoring-programme allows for an in-depth analysis of the subjective point-of-view of refugee/new-immigrant apprentices according to the core principles pf qualitative research (Flick et al., 2015). The data was collected through a two-step system: • First, quasi-explorative categories of learners` challenges were formulated through a structured review of weekly mentoring-protocols, written by the mentors about issues faced by their mentees. Those inductively formulated categories were discussed and verified with mentors in a weekly university course with the goal to work out specific patterns und consequences. • Second, partially standardized Interviews were conducted with the refugee/new-immigrant Mentees to include the point-of-view of the affected learners themselves, simultaneously expanding our set of categories by incorporating Challenges unknown to the mentors and researchers after step one. Data analysis of the interviews is conducted through standardized procedures, using MAXQDA for intersubjective coding and following qualitative code analysis after Mayring (2014).
The results summarize experiences and challenges of refugees/new immigrants connected to pandemic constraints in two separate vocational learning settings: the digital vocational learning in vocational schools and an additional digital mentoring programme. The derived theoretical outcome about those learners` special needs will be presented as a structured system of categories, that need to be addressed when planning inclusive formal or informal digital learning settings for refugees/new immigrants. The data also includes results with respect to learners` competence development in the current digital learning settings. Effects on the learners` competences will be presented along a structured vocational competences model, including digital competences and language competences in German. Implications connected with these results will be discussed with respect to further curricular planning for digital competences development, as defined in the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens in Europe (comp. Vuorikari et al., 2016) and integrated content and language learning (comp. Kimmelmann, 2017) as part of inclusion. As the successful inclusion of refugees into VET is an European issue, the presentation also contributes to the European migration and inclusion education policy, by emphasizing educational justice for refugees/migrants learners` as a relevant aspect of digital learning (in VET) and addressing their specific needs in further vocational digital learning settings, also beyond COVID-19.
Anger, C., Konegen-Grenier, C, Lotz, S. & Plünnecke, A. (2012). Bildungsungerechtigkeit in Deutschland. Köln: Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln Medien gmbH Beaunoyer, E., Dupere, S. & Guitton, M.J. (2020). COVID-19 and Digital Inequalities: Reciprocal Impacts and Mitigation Strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 111, Article ID: 106424. Blundell, R., Costa Dias, M., Joyce, R. & Xu, X. (2020). "COVID‐19 and Inequalities," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), p. 291-319. Daschner, P. (2017). Flüchtlinge in der Schule. Daten, Rahmenbedingungen und Perspektiven. Ein Überblick. In McElcany, N., Jungermann, A., Bos, W. & Holtappels, H. G. (Hrsg.), Ankommen in der Schule – Chancen und Herausforderungen bei der Integration von Kindern und Jugendlichen mit Fluchterfahrung. S. 11 – 27. Münster: Waxmann De Petris, A. (2018). Refugee Policies in Europe: Solution for an announced emergency. Münster: Peter Lange. Engzell, P., Frey, A., & Verhagen, M. D. (2020, October 29). Learning Inequality During the Covid-19 Pandemic. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/ve4z7 Flick, U.; Kardoff, E. & Steinke, I. (2015). Was ist qualitative Forschung? Einleitung und Überblick. In Flick, U.; von Kardorff, E. & Steinke, I. (Hrsg.): Qualitative Forschung. Ein Handbuch. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt. S.11-30 Kimmelmann, N. (2017). Integrated content and language learning as a new challenge of vocational training. Experiences from public funded qualification programs in the health care sector in Germany. Revista Española de Educación Comparada. núm. 29 (enero-junio 2017), pp. 76-94. Lietzmann, T.; Wenzig, C. (2020). Materielle Unterversorgung von Kindern. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung Mayring, Philipp : Qualitative content analysis: theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Klagenfurt, 2014. URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173 Ternès, A., Zimmermann, K., Herzog, L., & Udovychenko, M. (2017). Flüchtlingsstandort Deutschland -eine Analyse. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden. UNESCO (2020). Inclusion and Education. All Means All. Global Education Monitoring Report. Retrieved from: https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2020/inclusion UNESCO (2019). EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT SUMMARY 2019. Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls. Paris. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/report/2019/migration Vogel, C. & Scheiermann, G. (2019). Vielfalt in der beruflichen Bildung – betriebliche Ausbildung von Geflüchteten. Bonn 2019 Vuorikari, R., Punie, Y., Carretero Gomez S., Van den Brande, G. (2016). DigComp 2.0: The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens. Update Phase 1: The Conceptual Reference Model. Luxembourg Publication Office of the European Union. EUR 27948 EN. doi: 10.2791/11517 Wössmann, L. (2016): Integration durch Bildung. Forschung & Lehre, 23 (1), 11- 13.
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