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Abstract

Although there is much discussion of educational needs and how to integrate Muslim students into modern Western contexts, there is a shortage of research on teachers’ attitudes about these issues. Finland offers a particularly interesting context for research, given its relatively new, small, yet rapidly growing Muslim population, its prominence of negative attitudes to visible religiosity, and its official policy of multiculturalism. This article presents the results of a quantitative study of Finnish teachers’ attitudes to Muslim students and to their integration into Finnish schools. A nonprobability sample of Finnish preservice and practicing teachers (N = 864) was surveyed and the resulting data analyzed with exploratory factor analysis, t-tests, and ANOVA. The results indicate that Finnish teachers consider learning about general democratic values important, but their attitudes to dealing with Islam and Muslims are not quite as positive. However, previous involvement with other cultures indicated more positive attitudes among preservice teachers. Female teachers and practicing teachers were more oriented toward the teaching of commonality, and teaching at a more advanced level indicated more positive attitudes to Muslims and Muslim integration.

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... Some problems have been highlighted in the qualitative study by Ubani (2018) that noticed that the prevalent approach of the teachers in a Finnish school was paternising towards minorities as the school professionals tended to solve religious issues without collaboration or consultation with the parents. Likewise, in their study on Finnish teachers' attitudes towards Muslim pupils and their integration, Rissanen, Kuusisto and Tirri (2015) conclude that Finnish teachers are opposed to visible religiosity, especially Islam. However, the findings from Kimanen's (2018) study, suggest that teachers considered exclusivist religious views as problematic but otherwise regarded religious diversity as a natural part of cultural diversity. ...
... This approach, highlighting the equal treatment of different interest groups, thus resembles the idea of creating social justice through practices aimed at 'evenhandedness' (Carens 2000). These findings bring forward a different outcome about teachers' attitudes than they study by Rissanen, Kuusisto and Tirri (2015) that suggests that Finnish teachers do not support the visibility of religions in schools. ...
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How schools navigate between the demands presented by secularisation, and the increasing plurality of religious traditions has become a very topical issue in many European countries, including Finland, in recent decades. The question is both practical and philosophical by nature because the ways in which various beliefs and values are represented in school practices and teaching content profoundly concern the educational mission of the schools. However, despite the topicality of the issue, little attention has been given to teachers’ perceptions on whether public schools should, or should not, provide space for various religions and worldviews to become visible within the school life, and how schools should respond in practice to the perceived needs. In order to gain new knowledge on the topic, this study investigated Finnish teachers’ and university students’ (N = 181) perceptions of the representations of religions and worldviews, based on the perspectives of inclusion and exclusion. The statistical analysis revealed three factors titled as ‘Religiously responsive approach’, ‘Secularist approach’ and ‘Equal visibility approach’. According to the main findings, current and future educators show various degrees of inter-religious sensitivity but principally supported the equal visibility of various traditions, rather than favouring strongly inclusivist or exclusivist practices.
... Öncelikle araştırmadan elde edilen, öğretmen adaylarının çokkültürlülük algısı puanlarının cinsiyetlere göre farklılaşmadığı yönündeki bulgu, alan yazında çeşitli araştırmalar ile tutarlık göstermektedir (Nadelson, et al., 2012;Tortop, 2014;Yazıcı, Başol, & Toprak, 2009;Rissanen, Tirri, & Kuusisto, 2015;Bulut & Başbay, 2015). Belirtilen tüm bu çalışmaların genel sonucu olarak çokkültürlülük algısı ile cinsiyet arasında doğrudan bir ilişki olmadığı öne sürülebilir. ...
... Çocuklukta farklı kültürden arkadaşlara sahip olduğunu belirten öğretmen adaylarının çokkültürlülük algı puanlarının farklı kültürden arkadaşları olmayanlara göre daha yüksek olduğu görülmekle birlikte iki grubun puanları arasındaki farklılaşma anlamlı bulunmamıştır. Alan yazında ilgili çalışmalara göre; öğretmen adaylarının geçmişinde yaşadığı çeşitlilik ile ilgili deneyimler, ileride yaşadığı toplumdaki ırkçı yaklaşımlar konusunda farkındalık geliştirmesine katkıda bulunmakta ve sınıfında bu konulara değinme istekliliğini arttırmaktadır (Demoiny, 2017;LaDuke, 2009;Whipp, 2013;Rissanen, Tirri, & Kuusisto, 2015;Dedeoğlu & Lamme, 2011). Ayrıca öğretmen adaylarının önceden edindiği kültürel çeşitlilik ile ilgili deneyimler, öğretmen eğitim programlarında ne öğrenecekleri konusunda bir filtre görevi görmektedir (Major & Brock, 2003;Garmon, 2004). ...
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Günümüzde, okul öncesinden yükseköğretim kurumlarına kadar, kültürel çeşitliliğe eğitim programlarında yer verilmesinin önemi yaygın bir şekilde vurgulanmaktadır. Çokkültürlü eğitimi verecek öğretmenlerin, çokkültürlü eğitim yeterlilikleri ve çokkültürlülük algıları, verilecek eğitimin verimliliğini etkilemektedir. Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti son yıllarda artan oranda göç alan, farklı kültürlerden bireyler birlikte yaşama deneyimlerinin hızla farklılaşmaya başladığı bir toplum özelliği göstermektedir. Bu kapsam içerisinde araştırmanın amacı; Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti’ndeki üniversitelerde öğrenim gören okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının çokkültürlülük algılarının belirlenmesidir. Okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının çokkültürlülük algılarının belirlenmesi için Ayaz (2016) tarafından geliştirilen “Çokkültürlülük Algı Ölçeği” kullanılmıştır. Araştırmaya KKTC’deki devlet ve özel üniversitelerin Eğitim Fakültelerinden gönüllülük esasına göre katılan 132 okul öncesi öğretmen adayından elde edilen verilerin normallik dağılımına uygunluğu Kolmogorov Smirnov testi ile kontrol edilmiş, verilerin analizinde t-testi, ANOVA ve post-hoc olarak Scheffe kullanılarak çeşitli sonuçlara ulaşılmıştır. Okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının çokkültürlülük algıları cinsiyetlerine, sınıf düzeylerine, ilgili konuda eğitim alma durumlarına ve çocukluklarında farklı kültürlerden arkadaş sahibi olma durumlarına göre anlamlı bir farklılık göstermemiştir. Öğretmen adaylarının mezun oldukları lise türü, yaşamlarını en uzun süre geçirdikleri yer ve üniversitede aldıkları eğitimi yeterli bulma düzeyleri ile ilerideki sınıflarında kültürel çeşitlilikten doğan problemler ile başa çıkma yeterliliğine ilişkin görüşleri çokkültürlülük algı puanlarında farklılaşmalara yol açmıştır. Çalışmadan elde edilen bulgular alan yazınla ilişkili olarak tartışılmış, öneriler sunulmuştur.
... Protestant-Christian holidays are included in school calendars, and Muslims commonly have to make an application if they want to have a day off during the most important Islamic celebrations. Scholars have noted similar tensions in both countries: strong ideals of ideological neutrality in education prevail, while educators regard the mediation of fundamental national values based on liberal Protestant secularism as an important educational aim (Rissanen, Kuusisto, and Tirri 2015;Berglund 2013). Non-religious positions tend to be regarded as 'normal' or 'neutral', while religious positions are seen to be in contradiction with modern, rational and independent thinking; on the other hand, the hegemony of the 'secular Christian' position also sometimes becomes othering towards purely secular views (Kittelmann-Flensner 2015, 115-120;Poulter, Riitaoja, and Kuusisto 2016). ...
... In contrast to the color-blind tendencies and avoidance of such terms as cultural identity in the Swedish curriculum, the Finnish curriculum is markedly multiculturalist in its orientation and demands that all students' cultural and religious identities be recognised and supported (Zilliacus, Paulsrud, and Holm 2017). In practice, however, color-blind ideals of concentrating on commonality and restricting religion to the private sphere have been found to be common among teachers in Finland, too (Rissanen, Kuusisto, and Kuusisto 2016;Rissanen, Kuusisto, and Tirri 2015). ...
Article
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Mainstream scholarly approaches to improving equity in education, including culturally responsive education, promote multicultural recognition of diversity and abandon color-blindness as an ineffective strategy. The social psychological literature affords a more nuanced understanding of the merits of different diversity ideologies. However, these research strands rarely address religion. It is vital to study the actualization and influences of different diversity ideologies with respect to different forms of diversity and different contexts. This study analyzes Finnish and Swedish principals’ diversity ideologies in fostering Muslim inclusion. The principals rely mainly on color-blind ideology, but assimilation into the secular normativity of the school is also commonly pursued. Multicultural ideology commonly applies to linguistic diversity, while Islam is excluded from the multiculturalist discourse. Reflexivity regarding the complex dynamics of recognizing individual vs. group identities in education as well as understanding of the implications of religion-blindness is called for.
... Finnish teachers typically view themselves as responsible for the holistic education of their students (Tirri & Ubani, 2013), and they are strongly orientated towards promoting commitment to common values (Rissanen, Kuusisto, & Tirri, 2015). A recent study has also found that a majority of Finnish teachers can be identified as ethno-relativists, who at least in principle accept cultural differences. ...
... A recent study has also found that a majority of Finnish teachers can be identified as ethno-relativists, who at least in principle accept cultural differences. However, they seem to lack actual skills and willingness to recognise and encounter multiplicities, especially religious ones Rissanen et al., 2015;Riitaoja & Dervin 2014). In the context of increasing diversity, taking responsibility for pupils' personal and ethical development involves developing teachers' sensitivity to their students' different identity markers. ...
Article
In scholarly discussions, developing intercultural competencies, with intercultural sensitivity as their core, is an acknowledged aim of teacher education. Religion forms a foundational part in many cultures, and its prominence in the public sphere is increasing. However, educational research and practice have largely disregarded religious diversity. This paper examines how Finnish student teachers' develop intercultural sensitivity through self-reflective learning processes in a pilot course on cultures and religions in education. The results depict students' willingness to engage in self-reflection as a necessary starting point for developing ethno-relative orientation to diversity and sensitivity to religious identities.
... As for Finnish teachers, they see themselves as ethical professionals (Tirri 2011Tirri , 2012), and they evaluate their ethical sensitivity skills as being high (Kuusisto 2012; Gholami et al. 2015). At the same time, teachers feel unprepared for the current intercultural situations in school (Talib 2006), and their views, for example, on Muslim students' integration into Finnish society, are negative (Rissanen et al. 2015). It is known that recognition of cultural identities in a student body as well as the cultivation of positive relationships between minority students and teachers are important for students' self-esteem and lead to better academic achievement (Ipgrave 2010; Byfield 2008; Agirdag et al. 2012). ...
... Secondly , practising teachers were more likely to show transitional orientation than student teachers or lower secondary school students, which suggests that practising teachers seem to notice and concentrate on similarities between cultures and on finding shared principles (Hammer 2011). This accords with previous studies, which have found that Finnish teachers are orientated towards supporting commonality, but are less willing to recognise diversity (Rissanen et al. 2015). It also reflects the way in which ideals of equality as similar in Finnish educational culture often seem to result in colour-blindness—a view in which recognition of diversity is considered politically incorrect and is thus avoided (Kuusisto et al. 2015). ...
Article
This article examines intercultural sensitivity of Finnish teachers (N = 1008) and students (N = 1000) with a 23-item Intercultural Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ICSSQ). The questionnaire is based on Bennett’s (Education for the intercultural experience, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, 1993) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, which consists of three ethnocentric and three ethnorelative stages that reflect reactions to cultural differences. Items on the ICSSQ are based on authentic statements by 12- to16-year-old Finnish students in lower secondary school. The purpose was twofold: firstly, to test ICSSQ with adult respondents, i.e. teachers, and secondly, to investigate how teachers and students differ in intercultural sensitivity. The results indicate three orientations of intercultural sensitivity: ethnocentric, transitional and ethnorelative. Moreover, the data illustrate variance between teachers and students in intercultural sensitivity, with the teachers assessing their intercultural sensitivity higher than the students assessed theirs.
... Contemporary education professionals have grown up and been educated in the rather monocultural atmosphere of Finland, which has not been the best environment for the development of religious literacy as a part of intercultural competence. It is also important to recognise that education professionals, on the main, share the position of the majority, possessing certain inherited cultural, ideological and religious values that shape their personal worldviews as well as the educational practices in general (Rissanen et al. 2015(Rissanen et al. , 2016. However, due to growing cultural diversity in Finnish society, the state policies make demands on principals and teachers to come to terms with this diversity and fashion the management of teaching in schools accordingly. ...
Chapter
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This chapter seeks take part in an emerging research where religion is approached as a whole school endeavor. Previous research and policy recommendations typically focused on teaching about religion in school, but the accommodation of religious diversity in the wider school culture merits more attention. Based on observations in our multiple case studies, we discuss the multi-level governance of religious diversity in Finnish multi-faith schools with a particular focus on the challenges of religious literacy for educators. The three examples we present focus on the inclusion of Muslims in Finnish schools and in particular on the challenges for educator (1) in interpreting the distinction between religion and culture, (2) in recognizing and handling intra-religious diversity, and (3) in being aware of Protestant conceptions of religion and culture. A theme cutting across these examples is how they reflect the tendencies either to see different situations merely through the lens of religion (religionisation), or not to recognize the importance of religion at all (religion-blindness). We argue that religious literacy should be recognized and developed as a vital part of the intercultural competencies of educators.
... In general, Finnish teachers see themselves as ethical professionals (Tirri, 2011(Tirri, , 2012) with good ethical sensitivity skills (Gholami, Kuusisto, & Tirri, 2015;Kuusisto, Tirri, & Rissanen, 2012). However, the results from another study done by Rissanen, Tirri, and Kuusisto (2015) suggest that Finnish teachers are oriented towards supporting commonality, but they are less willing to recognize diversity, and their views on Muslim student's integration in Finnish society are rather negative. Finnish teachers are still relatively unprepared for the current intercultural situation within the school context (Talib, 2006). ...
Article
The aim of the study was to investigate proactive attitudes towards integration and intense group identification in a sample of the Swedish-speaking minority of Western Finland. A questionnaire was completed by 298 respondents (208 females and 90 males). The mean age was 32.7 yrs (SD 13.4) for women and 28.9 yrs (SD 13.4) for males. The questionnaire included scales measuring positive attitudes towards cultural and structural efforts to enhance the situation of immigrants, openness to diversity (Phelps, Eilertsen, Türken, - Ommundsen, 2011) and intense group identification. Positive attitudes towards cultural and structural efforts to enhance integration, and openness to diversity all correlated significantly positively with each other, and negatively with intense group identification. Age did not correlate with any of the scales in the study. Females scored higher than males on the three subscales measuring proactive attitudes towards integration, and males scored significantly higher on intense group identification. Respondents with a higher educational level scored higher on cultural efforts and on openness to diversity, and significantly lower on intense group identification. Social integration efforts could be fostered by enancing prosocial traits, especially among males, and by encouraging people to study at the higher degree institutions. This could be applie not only among the Swedish-speaking Finns but also among other cultural groups in Finland and elsewhere.
... However, the experiences of inclusion and belonging are hampered by prejudiced and stereotyping treatment that Muslims still experience very commonly in Finnish schools (Rissanen, 2018a). The general negative attitudes of (Rissanen, Kuusisto, & Tirri, 2015). The common negative stereotypes associated with Islam, e.g. ...
Chapter
In many European societies, including Finland, negotiations around pluralism and secularism often revolve around the question of Islam and Muslims. In the Finnish context, questions on the inclusion of Muslims are particularly acute due to the exceptionally negative attitudes among Finns toward Islam and Muslims. In this chapter I will bring together perspectives from my studies in Islamic religious education in Finnish schools, the inclusion of Muslims through school-family collaboration and the role of Muslim cultural brokers in promoting Muslim inclusion. My findings have enabled me to develop discussions concerning the agency of Finnish Muslims to negotiate the terms of inclusion and the development of multicultural citizenship in school. The studies depict school communities where dialogic collaboration with Muslim families is developed as interesting laboratories for the development of a multicultural and multi-faith society.
... In both countries strong ideals of ideological neutrality in education exist, while the mediation of fundamental national values based on liberal Protestant secularism often emerges as a central educational aim. (Berglund, 2013;Rissanen, Kuusisto, & Tirri, 2015). It has been argued that, particularly in Sweden, positions and principles that are claimed to be secular are often in reality atheisticnon-religious views tend to be regarded as "normal" or "neutral", while religious positions are seen to be in contradiction to modern, rational and independent thinking. ...
Article
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This study examines negotiations on Muslims’ inclusive citizenship in Finnish and Swedish comprehensive schools. The data include interviews with Muslim parents and Muslim teachers (n = 8 in both countries), who serve as cultural brokers in public schools and mediate negotiations on the terms of inclusion. The study utilizes the notion of post-secularity and pays particular attention to how intersections of religion and citizenship emerge in the everyday life of the schools. The results reveal how the culture-bound interpretations of religious freedom engender solidarity gaps between the advocates of secular normativity and those who oppose to this discourse. The impact of country-specific factors (Islamic religious education in Finnish schools, the existence of Islamic schools in Sweden) on Muslims’ experiences of inclusive citizenship are discussed.
Chapter
The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive view on the scope of contemporary research on preparing preservice foreign language teachers to teach in diverse classrooms in general, and the role of the practicum in the process. The sample of research presented in the paper offers an insight into the international collaborative effort to reduce the tendency displayed by future teachers to view pupils’ diversities as problems rather than resources. Thus, by exploring the notion of diversity and the challenges it poses for future teachers, this paper corresponds with the larger problem of heterogeneity in a language classroom tackled in this volume. This structured literature review is limited to a selection of journal articles published in English during 1998–2018 and available via ELSEVIER, SPRINGER, Wiley and CEJSH search engines through the descriptor preservice teachers. It reveals that circa 3 percent of the available articles refer to the topic of preparing future teachers to teach diverse learners. Furthermore, it also confirms that most articles in question (here 70%) are published in the USA (see, e.g., Yang & Montgomery, 2013). This online database is subcategorized into two major groups according to whether studies measured future teachers’ opinions or whether they measured the impact of some innovative training programs on their opinions. Much as the role of practicum in preparing preservice teachers for diversity is unquestioned, special attention is given in examining how the innovative training in the latter group is interwoven into teacher education programs. Finally, the paper ends with recommendations for further studies in specific areas of research due to the existing gaps in the research literature (see, e.g., Civitillo et al., 2018).
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This paper reviews discourses on multicultural education and the concept of intercultural competencies in the European and Nordic country of Finland. We focus on their present uses and perceptions by decision-makers, researchers, and also student teachers. Some prognosis for the future is made based on a short case study from art teacher education in this context. The case study represents an approach that replaces an understanding of intercultural competencies only grounded in knowledge with an approach grounded in criticality. In this way, the article represents an attempt to evaluate how intercultural competencies can and should be reconceptualised in global scholarship today.
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Although a number of studies in many countries have investigated the impact of the ethnic and socio-economic composition of schools on academic performance, few studies have analyzed in detail how and why compositional features matter. This article presents an examination of whether pupils’ sense of futility and schools’ futility culture account for the impact of ethnic and socio-economic status (SES) composition of schools on the academic achievement of their pupils. Multilevel analyses of data based on a survey of 2,845 pupils (aged 10–12 years) in 68 Flemish primary schools revealed that higher proportions of immigrant and working-class pupils in a school is associated with lower levels of math achievement in both immigrant and native Belgian pupils. However, by analyzing at a deeper level, by taking control variables into account, our study found that the ethnic composition of the school no longer had a significant effect on pupils’ achievement, while the SES composition still did. Most importantly, our results indicated that the remaining impact of SES composition can be explained by pupils’ sense of futility and schools’ futility culture. The implications of these findings for educational policy are discussed.
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Background: In educational research on children’s academic performance, few topics have received more attention than the consequences of school segregation and the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies. However, virtually no research has investigated whether self-fulfilling prophecies account for the impact of school composition on academic achievement. Purpose & Research Objectives: This study aims to integrate research on the effects of school segregation with that on self-fulfilling prophecies by examining the mediating role of teacher expectancies regarding the impact of school composition on pupils’ math achievement. First, we investigate whether teachers’ teachability expectations are related to the socioeconomic and ethnic composition of the school. Second, we investigate whether and how the effects of school composition can be explained by self-fulfilling prophecies. Because it is theorized that teacher expectancies might have an impact on pupils’ academic achievement through pupils’ perceptions of control over their achievement, we investigate the role of pupils’ sense of academic futility. Sample & Research Design: Quantitative data from a survey of 2,845 pupils and 706 teachers in 68 Flemish (Belgian) primary schools and qualitative data obtained through in-depth interviews with 26 teachers in five schools are analyzed. A complementary mixed-method design is used: Findings from the quantitative data are strengthened and illustrated with qualitative data. Results: The multilevel analysis shows that teachers’ teachability expectations are lower in schools with a high share of nonnative and working-class pupils and that these teachability expectations have an indirect impact on pupils’ achievement through pupils’ feelings of academic futility. The qualitative analysis reveals that the low teacher expectations in these schools are largely triggered by alleged linguistic deficiencies and problematic language use of the pupils and that school staff persistently communicate their preference for Dutch monolingualism to pupils. Recommendations: The results of this study indicate that socioeconomic desegregation may not be needed if it is possible to reform schools with a larger share of working-class pupils. Schools that produce more favorable teachability expectations are recommended. In particular, teachers’ attitudes and beliefs regarding pupils’ linguistic backgrounds might be the focus of educational reforms.
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The effect of two characteristics of school populations on reading skills will be estimated in this paper: share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the social-cultural dimension. We use the cross-national PISA-data 2006, both for the 15 years old native pupils and the pupils with a migrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational achievement of both pupils with a migrant background and native pupils, but the negative effect is smaller in educational systems with little differentiation and strongest in highly differentiated educational systems. The social-cultural diversity of schools do not effect educational achievement, but these effects are positive in strongly differentiated educational systems and negative in hardly differentiated systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational achievement of children, and this hardly differs between educational systems. A higher share of pupils with a migrant background at a school hampers educational achievement, but if these pupils have the same origin region (Islam countries; non-Islam Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with a migrant background at that school improves the educational achievement. Pupils originating from Islam countries have substantial lower reading scores in comparison with equivalent pupils with a migrant background from other origin regions, which can not be explained by the individual social-economic background, the school characteristics or the educational systems.
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Drawing on the second wave of the European Social Survey, we analyse the educational attainment of 1,039 second generation immigrants from different countries of origin in 13 EU countries, relative to that of the natives of these EU countries. In addition to testing the effects of individual factors, such as parental education and religion, we estimate the effects of macro characteristics of both origin and destination countries. Next to parental educational level, the average educational level of the natives of the countries of destination and the generosity of the naturalization laws have positive effects on the educational level of both male and female second generation immigrants. Other macro-characteristics of countries of origin and destination have no significant effects on educational outcomes of these immigrants. However, Muslim men of the second generation are found to have lower levels of education. KeywordsImmigrants–Second generation–Educational attainment–Countries of origin and destination–Religion–Muslim
Article
This interpretive study investigated how 12 graduates from a justice-oriented teacher preparation program described their teaching goals, practices, and influences on those practices after their 1st year of teaching in an urban school. Relationships among these teachers' orientations toward socially just teaching, self-reported socially just teaching practices, and self-reported preprogram, program, and postprogram influences were explored. Teachers who were individually and structurally oriented exhibited a sociocultural consciousness and described socially just teaching in various combinations of culturally responsive pedagogies, consciousness-raising, and advocacy; whereas individually oriented teachers focused primarily on "color-blind" caring relationships with their students. Factors that seemed to influence a more structural orientation to socially just teaching included (a) cross-cultural experiences before and during teacher preparation, (b) program course content and field experiences that challenged previous thinking, and (c) administrative and collegial support during the 1st year of teaching. Implications for teacher education practice and research are discussed.
Article
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the ways gifted and talented pupils are served in Finland. The trend toward individualism and freedom of choice as well as national policy affecting gifted education are discussed. Empirical research on Finnish teachers’ attitudes toward gifted education with respect to the national discussion on giftedness is reviewed. Special schools, programs, and summer camps designed for gifted and talented pupils are introduced. Finland’s strengths and weaknesses in supporting academic and creative talent through gifted programs are identified. A greater need to recognize the social and affective needs of gifted pupils is acknowledged.
Article
Muslims are now the second largest religious group in almost all Western countries and a large majority of Muslim citizens are children who attend schools. However teachers’ attitudes regarding the education of Muslim students are largely ignored by educational researchers. In this study, we investigate the determinants of teachers’ attitudes among Flemish (Belgian) teachers (N = 620). Regression analysis has revealed that female teachers, Muslim teachers, younger teachers, and teachers with a four-year college degree have significantly more positive attitudes. Most interestingly, we found that teachers working in schools that enroll a larger share of Muslim students (greater than 50 percent) have more negative attitudes toward Muslim students than other teachers. The implications of these findings for educational policy are discussed.
Article
This study focused on determining whether there are particular factors that may be associated with the development of greater multicultural awareness and sensitivity in preservice teachers. The researcher conducted extensive interviews with one 22-year-old White female teacher candidate and identified six factors that appeared to play a critical role in her positive multicultural development. Three of the factors were dispositional and included openness to diversity, self-awareness/self-reflectiveness, and commitment to social justice. The other three factors were experiential and included intercultural experiences, support group experiences, and educational experiences. Several implications of the study are discussed.
Article
This article reviews data-based research studies on preservice teacher preparation for multicultural schools, particularly schools that serve historically underserved communities. In this article, the author reviews 80 studies of effects of various preservice teacher education strategies, including recruiting and selecting students, cross-cultural immersion experiences, multicultural education coursework, and program restructuring. Although there is a large quantity of research, very little of it actually examines which strategies prepare strong teachers. Most of the research focuses on addressing the attitudes and lack of knowledge of White preservice students. This review argues that although this is a very important problem that does need to be addressed, it is not the same as figuring out how to populate the teaching profession with excellent multicultural and culturally responsive teachers.
Article
Black boys in the United Kingdom and the USA have almost become synonymous with the concept of ‘underachievement’. However, many Black boys are achieving against the odds. Whilst the possession of a high degree of dominant cultural capital is widely recognised as a key contributory factor to academic achievement, the contributory role of other forms of non‐dominant capital is often overlooked. This qualitative study of educationally successful Black males in the United Kingdom and the USA, involving 40 Black male students from both new and ancient universities, set out to establish whether religion was a contributory factor to the educational success of Black male students. The study found that most of these students were religious and that their church community engineered cultural and social capital and their belief in God engineered religious capital, all of which made significant contributions to these Black male students' academic achievement.
Article
This book provides an analysis of efforts to improve the education of preservice teachers and of the limitations of contemporary teacher education reform proposals. Following Chapter 1, "Introduction" (Ken Zeichner), the book is divided into three parts. Part 1, "Regulation and Standards in Teacher Education," consists of four chapters: (2) "External Influences on Teacher Education Programs: National Accreditation and State Certification" (Alan R. Tom); (3) "Reforming Teacher Education through Legislation: A Case Study from Florida" (Susan Melnick); (4) "The Continuing Reform of a University Teacher Education Program: A Case Study" (Dorene Ross and Elizabeth Bondy); and (5) "Traditional and Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification: Issues, Assumptions, and Misconceptions" (Trish Stoddart and Robert Floden). Part 2, "Preparing Teachers for Cultural Diversity," is in three chapters: (6) "Prospective Teachers' Perspectives on Teaching 'Other People's Children'" (Mary Louise Gomez); (7) "Educating Teachers for Cultural Diversity" (Ken Zeichner); and (8) "The Role of Community Field Experiences in Preparing Teachers for Cultural Diversity" (Ken Zeichner and Susan Melnick). The final two chapters make up Part 3, "Promoting Reflective Practice in Teacher Education": (9) "Teachers as Reflective Practitioners and the Democratization of School Reform" (Ken Zeichner); and (10) "Designing Education Practicum Experiences for Prospective Teachers" (Ken Zeichner). Each chapter includes references. (ND)
Article
As schools become increasingly multicultural, teachers need special sensitivity to recognize differences and intercultural competences to be able to support the personal and academic growth of diverse students. This paper introduces newly qualified teachers' conceptions of diversity and intercultural competence in a Finnish context. The teachers in the study graduated from a Masters of Education International Teacher Education Programme, which focuses on intercultural aspects of education and teachers' work. Data for this research were collected and analysed qualitatively by applying a phenomenographical research approach. On the basis of the data interpretation, three different diversity categories were formed: visible and invisible group level differences and individual differences. Conceptions of intercultural competence in educational contexts also formed three qualitatively different categories (1) an ethical orientation including values, interpersonal characteristics and basic orientation towards other people and the world; (2) efficiency orientation including organizational skills and ability to act in various roles and situations; and (3) pedagogical orientation including intercultural pedagogical competences.
Article
Finland is experiencing increased immigration and therefore increased cultural diversity in its schools. This paper examines the multicultural education discourse in Finland by analysing the national and municipal curricula for the comprehensive school, educational policy documents and teacher education curricula. The focus is on how multicultural education is talked about and whether it is aimed at all students or only at immigrant students. The analysis shows that the existing diversity associated with bilingual students, two national churches and an indigenous population is not considered as part of multicultural education. Instead, cultural diversity is seen narrowly as ethnic, immigrant language and immigrant religious diversity. Multicultural education is therefore only intended for immigrant students.Som en följd av den tilltagande invandringen till Finland har den kulturella mångfalden i skolorna ökat. Vi gör en analys av diskursen om mångkulturell utbildning i Finland genom att granska den nationella läroplanen och de kommunala läroplanerna för den grundläggande utbildningen samt även styrdokument gällande utbildning och lärarutbildningarnas studieprogram. Fokus ligger på hur mångkulturell utbildning diskuteras och huruvida den riktar sig till alla elever eller endast till elever med invandrarbakgrund. Analysen visar att den existerande mångfalden som innefattar tvåspråkighet, två folkkyrkor och den samiska ursprungsbefolkningen inte anses vara en del av den mångkulturella undervisningen. Kulturell mångfald begränsas till etnisk diversitet samt till invandrarnas språkliga och religiösa mångfald. Mångkulturell utbildning är således endast avsedd för invandrarelever.
Article
Muslim discontent in Britain over social policy issues has become more widespread of late, and it is significant that the education system has not escaped criticism. This article addresses the difficulty of providing adequately for Muslim pupils in the maintained sector, and the call for separate, publicly funded schooling. Attempts to modify aspects of education are highlighted, as well as the movement towards scrutinising the whole curriculum to ensure it reflects cultural diversity. Finally, the extent to which the common school curriculum is able to accommodate all students is considered in light of statutory requirements imposed by the National Curriculum.
Article
This article explores the issues of race and religion as they pertain to adolescent Somali immigrants and their lives at school, among their families, and in their communities. Research from a number of contexts offers a range of perceptions, held by Somali youth and adults, not commonly available in the media. Multiple suggestions are offered to educators for engaging youth in conversations about race and religion in ways that will make Muslim students feel more welcome at school and help all students understand racial and religious identity, as well as the harm that racial and religious bias can cause.
Article
This article builds on an extensive review of the comparative and international literature on teachers' perspectives on the education of Muslim students in public, Catholic, and Islamic schools. Bringing the teachers' voices and practices to the attention of researchers, policy makers, and general readers, the authors emphasize the centrality of teachers' roles in the education of Muslim students, highlight the constructive and positive work that teachers do, and point out the challenges they face and the support they need in fulfilling their moral and intellectual duties. We situate teachers' perspectives in the context of the upsurge of global interest in Islam and Islamic education and the increase in Muslims' challenges to multiculturalism and the existing education system dominated largely by Eurocentric, Hellenic-Judeo-Christian heritage and modernist values. The article examines and challenges the research, media and publicly produced contradictory and overlapping statements about Western teachers' work with Muslim students. Predominantly pessimistic, these pronouncements implicate teachers in (1) racism and Islamophobia; (2) an unwillingness and inability to include Muslims' historical and contemporary contributions and perspectives into the existing school curricula; (3) a lowering of expectations about their Muslim students and channelling them into non-academic streams; (4) cultural and religious insensitivity; and (5) an overall lack of knowledge about Islam and Muslims. The article problematizes these observations by engaging with them conceptually and methodologically, and by bringing counter-points from research. The article concludes by proposing a balanced portrayal of teachers' work and the inclusion of teachers' perspectives to improve policy, research, and practice in educating Muslim students within a multicultural society.
Article
This article provides an ethnographic analysis of the schooling experiences of Muslim youth in Canada who are committed to maintaining an Islamic lifestyle despite the pressures of conformity to the dominant culture. Little attention has been paid to how religious identity intersects with other forms of social difference, such as race and gender in the schooling experiences of minoritized youth. Using a case study often Muslim students and parents, this article demonstrates how Muslim students were able to negotiate and maintain their religious identities within secular public schools. The participants' narratives address the challenges of peer pressure, racism, and Islamophobia. Their stories reveal how Muslim students are located at the nexus of social difference based on their race, gender, and religious identity. The discussion further explores the dynamics through which these youth were able to negotiate the continuity of their Islamic identity and practices within schools despite the challenges that they faced. Building upon existing theories of identity maintenance and construction, this research demonstrates how the interplay of the core factors of ambivalence, role performance, and interaction and isolation are implicated in the way Muslim students negotiate the politics of religious identity in their schooling experiences.
Article
The author argues that teachers’ positive work in the education of Muslim students needs to be emphasized and their voices contextualized and critically engaged. He problematizes notions that have been circulating in the public sphere around the education of Muslims in western contexts (racism, Islamophobia, school curricula that ignore Muslim perspectives and contributions) by simultaneously acknowledging and refuting them. He contextualizes these issues by linking them to what education means in the context of intensified communication between diverse peoples, multiple perspectives and globalization. He ends by highlighting the data’s implications for research, policies and practices in education as well as for teachers’ training in Canada and other pluralistic societies. L’auteur fait valoir que le travail réalisé par les enseignants dans l’éducation des élèves musulmans doit être mis en valeur et que leurs discours doivent être contextualisés et utilisés de manière critique. Il remet en question certaines notions qui ont été soulevées dans la sphère publique au sujet de l’éducation des musulmans dans les sociétés occidentales (tels par exemple, le racisme, l’islamophobie ou un curriculum qui ignorerait les perspectives et les contributions musulmanes) en montrant à la fois comment elles peuvent être fondées mais présenter des limites. Il situe également ces enjeux en montrant leurs relations avec l’éducation dans un contexte d’intensification du dialogue entre les peuples, de promotion des perspectives multiples et de globalisation. Enfin, l’auteur illustre l’impact de ses données sur la recherche, les politiques et les pratiques en éducation ainsi que sur la formation des enseignants au Canada et dans d’autres sociétés pluralistes.
Article
While student populations grow more diverse, the preservice teacher population is becoming more homogeneous, primarily White and middle-class. One challenge for teacher preparation programs arising from the mismatch of teacher and student cultures is to facilitate intercultural sensitivity and learning among prospective teachers. This longitudinal study examines the effectiveness of the approach to diversity issues used in an urban university during the final year of a teacher preparation program. The article examines the effects of the treatment on teacher beliefs in two case studies at the end of the program and also looks at residual effects three years later.
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate experienced secondary school teachers’ (N=80) current and prior perceptions of their professional identity. A questionnaire was used to explore the way teachers see (and saw) themselves as subject matter experts, didactical experts, and pedagogical experts. The teachers currently see their professional identity as consisting of a combination of the distinct aspects of expertise. Most teachers’ current perceptions of their professional identity reportedly differ significantly from their prior perceptions of this identity during their period as beginning teachers. On the basis of their current perceptions of their professional identity, five groups of teachers could be distinguished. These groups had different learning experiences throughout their careers for each aspect of expertise. Also, teachers from different subject areas did not undergo the same changes in their perceptions of their professional identity. The differences among the groups in teachers’ current perceptions of professional identity were not related to contextual, experiential, and biographical factors that might influence these perceptions.
Article
This paper sets out the context and some main lines of argument about the education of Muslim children in England, including concern over low attainment, over segregation and violent extremism. Three approaches to inclusion of Muslims in mainstream educational settings are identified. The paper describes and assesses the identity-based approach to inclusion common to many English schools using a distinction between permissive and affirmative stances to analyse practice. It proceeds to argue for an epistemology-based approach that makes room for students’ experiential and theological perspectives on the content of their learning.
Article
This metadata relates to an electronic version of an article published in Early years, 2007, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 203-219. Early years is available online at informaworldTM at http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a782255470~db=all~order=page The small-scale study focuses on a number of Muslim parents and practitioners who have rejected local primary community schools in favour of Muslim faith schooling. The rejection of the type of schools that we support and that we train our student teachers to prepare for prompts considerable concern. This concern has led us to question in what ways Muslim schools represent a challenge to our own educational beliefs and values. This study is an attempt to identify the source of that challenge and what it means to our understanding of ourselves as white educators and researchers and the work we do with trainee teachers. It leads us to question our perspective on a range of issues including diversity, inclusion, parental rights and ultimately the aims of education.
Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness
  • Sleeter
Sleeter, Christine. 2001. Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education 52(2):64–106.
Suomalaisten uskonnollisuus
  • Kimmo Ketola
Ketola, Kimmo. 2011a. Suomalaisten uskonnollisuus. [Religiosity in Finland.] In Uskonto suomalaisten elämässä [Religion in the lives of Finns], edited by Kimmo Ketola, Kati Niemelä, Harri Palmu, and Hanna Salomäki, pp. 7-24. Tampere, Finland: Yhteiskuntatieteellinen tietoarkisto.
Changing preservice teachers' attitudes/beliefs about diversity. What are the critical factors
______. 2004. Changing preservice teachers' attitudes/beliefs about diversity. What are the critical factors? Journal of Teacher Education 55(3):201–13.
Monikulttuurisuus ja politiikka Pohjois-Euroopassa [Multiculturalism and politics in northern Europe
  • Pasi Saukkonen
Saukkonen, Pasi. 2013. Monikulttuurisuus ja politiikka Pohjois-Euroopassa [Multiculturalism and politics in northern Europe]. Helsinki: Cupore.