Unaccompanied minor immigrants facing the Swedish school system: challenges of practice
2012 (English)In: ECER 2012, European Conference of Educational Research, Cádiz, Spain, September 17-21, 2012, ECER , 2012Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Social inclusion of refugee children is an important issue in Sweden and many other European countries. Sweden has a population less than 2% of the European Union but accepts more than 20% of all unaccompanied minor immigrants in the EU. Logically, effectiveness of their schooling creates necessary pre-conditions for success of their integration in the society. However, political attention and state funding are concentrated on assuring quality living conditions and legal support for incoming minors, leaving responsibility for their education to underfunded municipal schools. Thus, the study conducted in a secondary school in Northern Sweden showed that the school was facing problems in getting mother tongue teachers’ support and funding extra curriculum activities to facilitate refugee children’s socialisation and effective Swedish language acquisition. This made their in-schooling process lengthy and rather painful for all actors involved. A sociocultural theoretical lens was used to understand the situation and outline further studies. In teacher education in Umeå, we treated intercultural issues of integration of unaccompanied minor immigrants in the Swedish school system in a course at the end of the students’ training. In group interviews and guided discussions in the course, prospective teachers recognised existing systemic problems in education of immigrant children and expressed a feeling of lack of instrumental intercultural competence to deal with such problems.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ECER , 2012.
intercultural education, refugees, minors, teacher education
ensamkommande flyktingbarn, skola, lärarutbildning
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60990OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-60990DiVA: diva2:565240
ECER 2012, European Conference of Educational Research, The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All, Cádiz, Spain, September 17-21, 2012