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Teaching in the 'edgelands' of the school day: The organisation of Mother Tongue Studies in a highly diverse Swedish primary school
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Teaching and Learning Language, Literature and Media.
2015 (English)In: Power and Education, ISSN 1757-7438, E-ISSN 1757-7438, Vol. 7, no 2, 239-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To promote attainment and inclusion, Sweden offers tuition in migrant pupils’ mother tongues as a regular school subject. However, the formulation of learning aims is problematic, and resources allocated to the subject do not correspond to ambitions expressed in steering documents. This case study presents an analysis of the organization of Mother Tongue Studies at a highly diverse urban primary school, based on interviews with teachers and head teachers. The practical organization of Mother Tongue Tuition affects how mother tongue teachers and pupils are perceived, but also potentially provides opportunities for empowerment and educational development. Results indicate that in the investigated case, such opportunities are not exploited, placing mother tongue teachers in a state of continuous structural stress, while limiting the forms their teaching relationships can take. Additionally, scheduling the school subject Mother Tongue Studies at the ‘edgelands' of the school day contributed to further marginalizing languages taught as mother tongue and minimized interaction with class teachers.                  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, no 2, 239-254 p.
Keyword [en]
scheduling, Mother Tongue Tuition, Sweden, mono-cultural norms
Keyword [sv]
schemaläggning, arbetsorganisation, modersmålsundervisning, monokulturella normer
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29072DOI: 10.1177/1757743815586523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-29072DiVA: diva2:894227
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14 Last updated: 2016-05-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Moving together – conditions for intercultural development at a highly diverse Swedish school
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving together – conditions for intercultural development at a highly diverse Swedish school
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a case study of a primary school in a highly diverse urban neighbourhood in Sweden. Basic pre-conditions for intercultural school development are studied by examining the overall organisation of teaching, learning and opportunities for collaboration in the investigated case. The study focuses on the targeted support measures to enhance learning for students with an immigrant background: Mother tongue instruction, Swedish as a Second Language, and tutoring in the mother tongue, as well as looking at pedagogical support provided by the school library. The latter has a mission to promote learning and inclusion, where non-native speakers of Swedish are a prioritised group.

Communities of practice linked to the work organisation at a meso-level are investigated, and the collaborative relationships between professional groups at the school involved in the various support measures. Teacher relationships and categorisations implied by support measures impact the learning spaces that are shaped for students and the teaching spaces within which teachers work. Collaborative opportunities and convergence of concerns in the teaching spaces combine to shape the overall space for intercultural development.

The raw data for the case study consists of interviews, national policy documents and additional information on local work organisation gained through documents and observations. Four articles resulted from the case study, each focusing a specific support measure. An overarching analysis is then made of findings from these articles and the other dimensions of the investigation. The analysis describes the organisation in terms of monocultural or intercultural school cultures, pointing to significant characteristics of the landscapes of practice, with respect to their overall implications for the spaces of school development. In the discussion, findings are considered in relation to research on professional development in education, collaboration, democracy and inclusive schooling.

The relative positioning of languages and cultures is given particular attention, to ascertain if the school culture is monocultural or intercultural in the sense given by Lahdenperä (2008), and to what extent it could enable intercultural development. Such positioning plays a role interms of affordances for identity, participation and engagement discussed by Wenger (1998).

This case study should be understood against the wider background of recent social developments in Europe linked to globalisation and technological changes. It is argued that looking at the concrete specifics which facilitate or obstruct school development, and simultaneously reflecting on how the different forms of teaching interrelate in the overall organisation and in policy may provide a useful vantage point from which structural changes can be contemplated.The discussion underlines the importance of the physical localisation of activities, continuity in personal contacts and time available for joint pedagogical reflection, as basic conditions for effective intercultural dialogue in the organisation. Finally, the impact of policy is considered, looking at connections between levels of policy, expressed in official steering documents, and conditions for teaching and learning at the level of an individual school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, 2016. 118 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, ISSN 1652-7933 ; 32
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29961 (URN)978-91-88339-02-7 (ISBN)978-91-88339-03-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-17, Hb116, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-05-19 Last updated: 2016-05-20Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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