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From Policy to Practice: Intercultural Competence in Swedish Teacher Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9024-330X
2016 (English)In: Fifth international conference on the development and assessment of intercultural competence: From traditions to transitions, 2016Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish education ideology is summarized in the motto: One school for all. The growing number of multilingual pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds in the Swedish school system is, however, presenting new challenges, giving intercultural competence as a specific skill for teachers increasing importance. The present research is part of an ongoing project investigating the relationship between Swedish education policy and teacher training programs, focusing on the concept of intercultural competence, especially in relation to multilingualism and the notion of pluralism.

The examination of the connection between official policies at a macro level and the perspectives of teacher trainers and teacher students at a micro level is accomplished through three sub-studies: 1) an analysis of the discourse of Swedish education policy; 2) an analysis of selected teacher training programs at Swedish universities; and 3) semi-structured interviews at the same universities with teacher educators, student teachers in pre-service training and mentor teachers who guide the student teachers during their practical work experience in the classroom. The first sub-study concentrates on the Swedish school law from 2010 (Skollagen, updated 2015) and the Swedish national curriculum from 2011, the unifying legal documents by which all schools must abide. The second sub-study targets teacher education at both a large university with a broad national intake of students and a smaller university with a primarily regional intake. In the third sub-study, the three informant groups offer views on whether the concept of intercultural competence is apparent throughout each step of the process from the university classroom to the student perspective to the compulsory school classroom.  Of special interest are the approaches employed by teacher educators in equipping teacher students with skills to effectively meet potential challenges and the practices promoted as appropriate for the classroom by the mentor teachers during training. The triangulation of methods allows for a deeper understanding of how intercultural competence is represented both explicitly and implicitly in teacher education in response to national policy as well as the attitudes of individual teachers and students in response to the multilingual and multicultural classroom.

This poster will present the preliminary results of work in progress. Although the focus is on the Swedish context, how and why intercultural competence skills are being explored in teacher education is of interest to other educators as well as to researchers and practitioners involved in creating education policy for compulsory schools in other multilingual contexts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144239OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144239DiVA: diva2:1109733
Conference
Fifth international conference on the development and assessment of intercultural competence: From traditions to transitions, Tucson, Arizona, USA, January 21–24, 2016
Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-06-20Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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