FACING THE PEDAGOGICAL CHALLENGE OF TEACHING UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE CHILDREN IN THE SWEDISH SCHOOL SYSTEM

TitleFACING THE PEDAGOGICAL CHALLENGE OF TEACHING UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE CHILDREN IN THE SWEDISH SCHOOL SYSTEM
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPopov, O, Sturesson, E
JournalProblems of Education in the 21st Century
Volume64
Start Page66-74
PaginationDiscontinuous
Date PublishedApril/2015
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1822-7864
Other NumbersICID: 1154015
Keywordsintercultural education, refugees, teacher education
Abstract

The social inclusion of refugee children is an important issue in Sweden and many other European countries. Sweden accepts more than 20% of all unaccompanied immigrant children in the EU. Logically, effective schooling is needed for these children to create the necessary pre-conditions for their successful integration into society. However, political interest and state funding concentrates instead on assuring good quality living conditions and legal support for incoming minors, leaving the responsibility for their education to underfunded municipal schools. Accordingly, a study conducted in a municipal secondary school and a university teacher education in Northern Sweden revealed low preparedness to meet the educational needs of immigrant children. Sociocultural and socio-political theoretical lenses were used in the study to understand the situation. Pedagogical action was taken on the teacher education programme in Umeå to improve the situation and issues concerning the integration of unaccompanied immigrant minors in the Swedish school system were explored in an interdisciplinary course at the end of the students’ teacher training. In group interviews and guided discussions during the course, student teachers recognised existing systemic problems in the education of immigrant children and expressed a feeling of a lack of practical intercultural competence to meet such children.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=1154015
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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