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The implementation of interculturalism in the secondary and vocational school

Sabina Mujkanović (2016) The implementation of interculturalism in the secondary and vocational school. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Descendants of immigrants are children of immigrant parents in Slovenia. Descendants of immigrants are thus born in Slovenia and even live their whole lives here and are therefore part of the Slovenian educational system. The first generation of immigrants have migrated within the boundaries of then common state of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY shorter Yugoslavia), which was formed by several countries of South Slavic peoples, who spoke (and speak) similar languages. After the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, new borders were created and the immigrants found themselves on "foreign" soil. In this work the focus is on descendants of immigrants from former Yugoslavia who generally have the Slovenian citizenship. Despite the fact that they are Slovenian citizens, the descendants of immigrants in Slovenia face a number of difficulties, the crisis of cultural identity, refusal by the majority of population and the underprivileged treatment in the process of education. School employees expect them to be fully integrated into Slovenian society and the educational system as they spend their whole lives living in Slovenia. On the other hand, due to generalization, they are often and very quickly subject to various stereotypes and prejudices. They are believed to receive less support and lower performance expectations from teachers and other professional staff. To engage students who are descendants of immigrants in schools there are strategies and guidelines that can help practitioners work in a culturally mixed classes. In addition to the rather vague strategies and guidelines there is no systematic pairing of professionals of the existence of such documents. This is certainly a result of putting too little attention at the political level to the issue of unequal starting opportunities of the descendants of immigrants in the process of education. The school is a powerful ideological apparatus of the state, so the school system reflects the political development at the national level. Descendants of immigrants in Slovenia mostly attend secondary vocational schools (3-year programme), while the minor proportion of descendants of immigrants attend secondary vocational schools (4-year programme) and gymnasiums/grammar schools. The purpose of the thesis is to study the situation of students who are descendants of immigrants in secondary vocational and technical schools, and to determine the extent to which, according to the testimony of students and their parents, teaching staff act in accordance with the principles and guidelines of intercultural education. Intercultural pedagogy calls for interaction among different cultures, emphasizing the equal exchange of languages, cultures and traditions as well as the mutual recognition of the equivalence of all cultures in one territory. The survey that was carried out in the industrial city of Velenje, which attracted many immigrants due to attractive employment opportunities, has now consequently a greater number of descendants of immigrants. The purpose is to investigate whether the abundance of migrants in one place shows up as an advantage or just an additional barrier in terms of understanding and tolerance of the majority population towards the immigrants, and whether, because of the abundance of immigrants, their experience of education, choice of secondary school and the desire to achieve school successes, changes in the direction of more positive trends. An ideal intercultural school percieves cultural, religious and linguistic differences as entirely everyday situation and treat them as a learning medium, which is a valuable source of knowledge and understanding and thereby contributes to the acceptance and recognition of diversity. The study examines the extent to which the ideal intercultural school is implemented in practice in Velenje secondary schools. The results lead to the conclusion that the descendants of immigrants in Velenje are very well accepted in informal situations, while in formal situations they might be subject to discrimination and unequal treatment. Some interviewees reported about their experiences of discrimination within the school system and at the labor market when searching for work. There is a high desire of descendants of immigrants for achieving the success at school and acquiring further education. There is also a great support and high expectations from their parents in relation to education, which is one of the key findings. Despite previous research and theoretical frameworks demonstrating that the descendants of immigrants attain worse learning outcomes and normally enter into a three-year vocational schools and often do not continue their education, in the present case, interviewed students from the school Centre Velenje have not confirmed it.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: descendants of immigrants, intercultural pedagogy, interculturality, secondary vocational and technical school, Velenje
    Number of Pages: 192
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Špela RazpotnikMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11036745)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3497
    Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 13:59
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016 13:59
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3497

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