20 SES 06 B, Intercultural Learning, Identity and Citizenship
The purpose of the study was to collect data on the operations of classroom practices that adhere to ideas on multicultural education and differentiating learning. The goal was to gain comprehensive understanding of how teachers respond to diverse groups of students and how they manage to offer students differentiating learning, which takes into account their experience, interests and development. In addition our intention was to understand how the classroom practice is organised, taking all students into account, irrespective of their abilities, skills and talents. Thus the research question that led this project was: How do teachers create classrooms that are responding to diverse group of students by taken into account different social contexts, backgrounds, interests and skills? The research project helped establish knowledge about the multicultural and inclusive education in general classrooms, which areas are successful and why.
The focus in this paper is on multicultural education and teaching diverse groups of students. Human rights, respect and diversity are components that characterises teaching practices that build on multicultural and inclusive education (UNESCO, 2008). Multicultural education as well as inclusive education are examples of educational debate that struggles for social justice (Au, 2009). It emphasizes that all students have equal rights to education and are given opportunities to build their learning on personal experiences and knowledge. Diverse groups of students call for changes and development in teachers’ work and classroom practices (Day & Gu, 2010). It is important to build the teaching on each individual as well as the whole group, but the content matters also (Gudjonsdottir, 2000; Moen, 2008). The interplay between pupils and the society is important and the pupils need to acquire jointly experience that gives them satisfaction. Teaching that is carefully planned and conducted and pupils improve their learning is what matters most of all (Arthur, Gordon & Butterfield, 2003; Idol, 2006). It is in the hands of teachers to change and develop pedagogy, curriculum and assessment in a way that it is to the benefit of all pupils (O´Brian & O‘Brian, 1996). Research has identified that team teaching, cooperative learning, and problem solving teams are all ways that can support education for all. It is critical that classrooms are diverse but it is equally important that teaching methods and strategies are so also (Meijer, 2003, 2005). By drawing on all pupils as the teaching is planned and decided and building the practice on scaffolding it is possible to include all pupils in the classroom (Van Kraayenoord, 2007).
The discussion on teaching diverse groups of students and students with Icelandic as a second language needs to take into account student’s abilities, friendship and respect as well as school policies and the national curriculum (Ragnarsdottir, 2004). The emphasis needs to be on a holistic approach where different social contexts, backgrounds, interest and skills as well as teaching strategies suitable for diverse groups of students is in focus.
Au, W. (Ed.). (2009). Rethinking multicultural education: Teaching for racial and cultural justice. Milwaukee: A rethinking schools publication. Arthur, M., Gordon, C. og Butterfield, N. (2003). Classroom management: Creating positive learning environments (3. útgáfa). Melbourne: Thomson. Day, C. & Gu, Q. (2010). The new lives of teachers. London: Routledge. Guðjónsdóttir, H. (2000). Responsive professional practice: Teachers analyze the theoretical and ethical dimension of their work in diverse classrooms. Doctoral theses: University of Oregon. Idol, L. (2006). Towards inclusion of special education students in general education: A program evaluation of eight schools. Remedial and Special Education, 27(2), 77–94. Meijer, C. (2003). Inclusive Education and Classroom Practices. Middelfart: European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. Meijer, C. (2005). Nám án aðgreiningar og skólastarf í efri bekkjum grunnskóla (11 til 14 ára nemendur). Middelfart: European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. Moen, T. (2008) Inclusive education practice: Results of an empirical study. Scandinavian journal of educational research, 52(1), 59–75. Nordahl, T. (204). Eleven som aktör: Focus paa elevens læring og handlinger i skolen. Köbenhavn: Unge Pædagoger og forfatterne. O'Brian, J. og O'Brian, C. L. (1996). Inclusion as a force for school renewal. Í S. Stainback og W. Stainback (ritstjórar), Inclusion: A guide for educators (bls. 29–48). Baltimore: Paul H Brooks Publishing. Ragnarsdóttir, H. (2004). Vilji og væntingar. Rannsókn á áhrifaþáttum í skólagöngu erlendra barna á Íslandi. Uppeldi og menntun, 13(1), 91–110. UNESCO. (2008). Education. Sótt 14. júlí 2009 af http://www.unesco.org/en/inclusive-education/ Van Kraayenoord, C. E. (2007). School and classroom practices in inclusive education in Australia. Childhood Education, 83(6), 390–395. Wolcott, H. F. (2005). The art of fieldwork (second edition). Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.
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