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Teaching about interculturalism in the social studies classroom

Nina Sever (2018) Teaching about interculturalism in the social studies classroom. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Contacts with other cultures in the home environment have become something very common, as there is a great mix of cultures worldwide. The picture of today's society is also reflected in schools. Especially in larger cities in Slovenia, students come from culturally diverse worlds. To help them integrate into their new environment and to learn about their culture with other students, teachers perform various activities both within regular classes as well as within optional activities. One of the school subjects that covers this topic is Social studies, this is also evident from the curriculum. In practice, it can be noticed that teachers are lacking in time and ideas, therefore, I expect that this thesis will prove to be a useful tool with a range of activities to learn about the topic of interculturalism. Within the master's thesis I explored the representation of interculturalism in teaching manuals for the subject of Social studies. I was interested in what the students' attitudes towards intercultural differences are and whether there will be an impact on their attitudes before and after the implementation of activities on the topic of interculturalism. The purpose of the master's thesis was also to provide suggestions for activities to approach the topic of interculturalism in an interesting way and influence the students’ views on interculturalism. The research of the master's thesis was divided into two parts and was based on a descriptive and causal experimental method. The first part included an analysis of the representation of themes of interculturalism in teaching manuals for Social studies in grades 4 and 5. It included an analysis of those contents from the manuals relating to the topic of interculturalism. The list of certified textbooks for the 4th and 5th grade has served me as a criterion for the selection of publishers whose manuals came into consideration for further analysis. I have found that the Slovene publishing houses (Modrijan, Rokus Klett and Mladinska knjiga) offer a good number of intercultural activities in manuals or within the framework of hourly preparations. The exception is the publishing house DZS, which offers far less activities and does not cover all the topics that the teacher should teach according to the curriculum. With each publisher, the number of interesting activities decreases. The second part included an experimental study of the impact on students’ attitudes before and after the activities carried out on the subject of interculturalism. The study involved 31 pupils from two 5th grades from primary school in the Dolenjska region. I collected the data by performing eight activities, using a questionnaire for the students of the experimental and control group before and after the carried out activities, analyzing each activity, using a questionnaire for the teacher of the experimental group, and by using the assessment scale for students of the experimental group. The results of the second part of the study showed that there were differences in the acceptance of interculturalism in the experimental group compared to the control group and the impact on students' attitudes before and after the carried out activities in the experimental group was proved. The students liked the activities that were carried out, especially those that contained social games. The teacher of the experimental group assessed the activities from her own point of view as well as by observing the students and concluded that they were interesting and useful for teaching.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: social studies, interculturalism, primary education, activity suggestions
    Number of Pages: 131
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Maja UmekMentor
    asist. dr. Irena HerganComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11918409)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4985
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2018 11:50
    Last Modified: 07 Feb 2018 11:50
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4985

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