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Multicultural and multilingual education: Current challenges in teacher education in Sweden and Finland
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English. Stockholm University. (Utbildning och Lärande)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9024-330X
University of Helsinki.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents part of the research collaboration Multilingual and intercultural education in Sweden and Finland (MINTED), a study of education policy and teacher education. We have examined how the concepts multilingualism and interculturality are represented, on the one hand, explicitly and implicitly in teacher education in relation to national policy, and on the other hand, in the perspectives of teacher educators and students in response to the multilingual and multicultural classroom.

 

In this paper, we present an empirical study of teacher educator views on the challenges and needs they face in relation to multicultural and multilingual education in their teacher training institutions. We have interviewed 29 teacher educators (14 in Finland and 15 in Sweden) at eight universities with an aim to understand the current policies and practices for supporting quality multicultural and multilingual education. Our analysis is framed by three general categories: Instructional, institutional and socio-political challenges in teacher education (Gorski, 2012), and we relate the study to our previous analyses of the national curricula for compulsory schooling in the two countries. Results indicate that educators call for greater competence in addressing diversity in the classroom, with a need for concrete encounters and experiences. Moreover, a deeper integration of multicultural and multilingual education across the institutions is needed. In our presentation, we offer examples of both challenges and strategies considered by the educators for a teacher education programme that may better serve all students. We also highlight differences between the two national contexts.

 

We contribute to the symposium in several ways. First, our study offers a timely investigation into current needs in teacher education. This is relevant as pre-service teachers will be facing a very different classroom than the teacher educators themselves had in their respective school contexts. As one teacher educator stated: ”We need to prepare teacher students to teach in a school that looks much different than the one they went to themselves.” Second, we offer a unique comparison of two seemingly similar but rather different contexts. Finland and Sweden are neighbouring countries with similar education policies, practices and values, yet quite different frameworks and practices. Finally, we address the implications of our study on the directions necessary for the development of teacher education and how spaces for multilingual and intercultural educational practices can be created.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
teacher education, challenges, multilingual education, multicultural education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-27846OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-27846DiVA, id: diva2:1218026
Conference
Multilingualism and Education: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives, University of Oslo, May 7 2018
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Paulsrud, BethAnne

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
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