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We are special, just the way we are!Listening to children's voices in an Inclusive Multicultural Environment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 60 credits / 90 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this research is to provide insight into how middle school learners experience an inclusive multicultural learning environment. Increasing diversity is challenging European educational systems, which have the arduous task to foster inclusion of learners with diverse educational needs. In order to explore the participants’ descriptions, a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews with six learners was employed. Learners’ positions in the educational scenery are central and unique; they are the main experts on their own situations and therefore precious contributors to educational research. Results have been discussed according to a sociocultural perspective. The analysis of my data suggests that the learners perceive their inclusive environment as beneficial. Moreover, they perceive their cultural diversity as strength, reckon social interaction and teamwork with peers as favorable conditions for learning, feel competent in multicultural communication and believe that respect and acceptance towards others are necessary common values. Some implications of multiculturalism in special education are discussed according to the results of a recent European study, which shows that in all the participating European countries, Sweden included, there is a consistent discrepancy in the proportions of learners with immigrant background within special education. Assessment methods developed for mono-cultural learners appear to be a valid reason why multicultural learners are over-or under-represented in special education. Research also shows that inclusion of diversity in educational environment enables the development of social skills in all learners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 49 p.
Keyword [en]
children's voices, diversity, multiculturalism, cultural identity, inclusive education, social interaction, learning environment, special education, sociocultural perspective
National Category
Social Sciences Pedagogy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131423OAI: diva2:939052
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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