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Attitude of professionals in kindergarten to immigrant children and their parents

Mojca Meke (2014) Attitude of professionals in kindergarten to immigrant children and their parents. MSc thesis.

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    In the last fifty years the socio-cultural diversity of Slovenia's population has increased as a consequence of mainly economic migrations with the main focus on the tendency of a better life and ascent of the life standard. Consequently there is a greater proportion of immigrant children integrated into the pre-school system, which became a subject of more intensive attention of competent institutions only a few years ago. In the field of integration and education of immigrants in the educational system, Slovenia as an EU member state is obliged to follow Slovenian (Act on Organization and Financing of Education, Aliens Act, Pre-School Institutions Act etc.) and international documents on this matter (Directive 77/486/EEC on the education of the children of migrant workers, Resolution of the Council of Europe etc.), and as a member of UNESCO, OSCE, UN and the Council of Europe even lots of other documents related to intercultural education. In Slovenia, at the level of professional recommendations for the work with immigrants we have a document entitled Strategy of the integration of children, pupils and students in the educational system in the Republic of Slovenia (2007). Since the implementation of the strategy is not supported by law, it depends on individual kindergartens whether to put the strategy into consideration or not. In the theoretical part of the master’s thesis we analyzed the dilemmas in defining the status of an immigrant and the enormous diversity of concepts, relevant for this field (multiculturalism, interculturalism etc.). In particular, we focused on the concept of inclusion, which is unlike the concept of integration more acceptable in the field of immigrant integration into the school system. We analysed the formal arrangement and expert recommendations for the work with immigrant children and their parents at the pre-school level. The empirical part presents the results of the research carried out on a sample of 124 professional workers, employed in nine purposely selected public kindergartens in Slovenia. The findings show that practitioners are in principle prone to the inclusion of immigrant children/children of migrants into a kindergarten. They are aware of their responsibility in teaching the Slovene language and also wish and anticipate that even parents learn the language as soon as they move to Slovenia, to enable easier and more effective communication with them in the kindergarten. But unfortunately, at the integration of immigrant children/children of immigrants, practitioners do not recognize the importance of forming individualized programmes and professional teams to contribute to systematic and planned monitoring of the children’s development and particularly their knowledge of the Slovene language. They still do not have the needed didactic-methodical knowledge to teach the Slovene language as a foreign language or language of the environment, but nevertheless the majority of practitioners do not recognize this as a deficiency at their work. Practitioners are less fond of teaching and maintaining the native language of children of immigrants/immigrant children in kindergartens. Regarding the cooperation with immigrant parents they more often invite them to participate in non-active then active forms of cooperation, which could help in getting to know and accepting the diversity. The reality of not going into details of the issue of immigrant integration into the education system can be concluded from the fact of not recognizing problems, arising from the work with the mentioned population. Practitioners namely did not recognize the deficiency of supporting mechanisms like elaborated directions for effective integration of immigrants and material with examples for the work with immigrants, financial support and additional professional training and education as obstacles. One of the reasons of practitioners for not going into details of the discussed issue is also unfamiliarity with documents and professional recommendations for the work with immigrants. In spite of this, practitioners evaluate their actual work and kindergartens, in which they work, as including the principle of interculturalism.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: multiculturalism, migrations, intercultural competences, migrants, inclusion
    Number of Pages: 172
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Irena LesarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9977929)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2032
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2014 07:20
    Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 12:33
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2032

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