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The dilemmas of Mother Tongue Education: The integration of curriculum theory and practice: Chinese Mandarin and Spanish mother tongue teachers’ experiences in Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims to gain a broader view, within the frame of a comparative international perspective, of the relationship and dilemmas between the theoretical visions of the curriculum and their applicability in practice by mother tongue teachers within the current organizational structures and given resources. The research uses a qualitative and comparative method and semi-structured interviews of ten mother tongue teachers, five Chinese Mandarin and five Spanish, teaching Compulsory School level 7 to 9 in Sweden. The interviews and dialogues with the teachers make it possible to see phenomenon from many different perspectives and build knowledge after the interpretation and exploration of their testimonies and experiences.

The study is comparative and one can see that there are more similarities than differences among the interviewed Spanish and Chinese mother tongue teachers. Both groups defined MTE (Mothet Tongue Education) as essential in the lives of children and youths and mention aspects such as intellectual development, identity, and interculturalism linked to the labour market. Also the feeling of a sense of community with other cultures in the world would empower the students with a capacity for social relationships, tolerance, and understanding of different peoples. Thereafter I investigate if the mother tongue teachers find it difficult to interpret and implement the formulations of the SNAE (Swedish National Agency for Education) curriculum and the policies that govern their specific role in the school system. It also implies identifying some of the external, contextual factors that can affect the effective application of the curriculum.

Concerning the curricular aspects, the conclusion is that many of the visions described in the texts are not compatible with the situation of mother tongue teaching or to the reality of the students. Organizational factors, incomprehension and lack of platform-based research affect negatively the ambitions of effective and equitable MTE in Sweden. In addition, these teachers are also preoccupied with the future of MTE in Sweden. The political discourse would appear to be driving Europe towards right-wing political ideas in which MTE would not be a priority. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 71
Keywords [en]
language, Mother Tongue Education, curriculum theory, multilingualism, bilingualism, multiculturalism, identity
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158131OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158131DiVA, id: diva2:1233866
Presentation
2018-07-20, Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Frescativägen 54, 106 91 Stockholm, Stockholm, 05:38 (English)
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-11-28 Created: 2018-07-20 Last updated: 2018-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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