Intercultural Teacher Competence in the Classroom - Counterbalancing Group Based Prejudices?

Project owner

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Project period

March 2018 - March 2021

Project summary

The teacher education has a great responsibility in educating competent teachers able to promote a democratic culture at school that has an effect. However, many teachers lack tools in order to work with discrimination of minorities at school. The objective of this project is to educate teacher students, so that they, when they start practice, are capable of creating changes of pupil’s attitudes by the way of deconstructing and changing of stereotypical notions and prejudices against vulnerable groups in the society. The project will develop knowledge on themes such as anti-Semitism, on discrimination and hate speak, on how schools work in order to prevent this and whether the prevention has an effect.  The objective is also to gain knowledge on how extensive these issues are among children and young people. Parallel to this, the objective is to develop a teacher’s program in order to strengthen intercultural competency of teacher students and teachers, by arranging for the exchange of views about different values, life styles or symbolic representations in such a way that it enrichens the pupils understanding of complex themes. This implies developing a mutual consciousness or intersubjectivity, with a focus on respectful disagreement and discussions that make pupils feel included and equal. The goal is an education that gives teachers an opportunity to meet pupils with competency and ingenuity in discussions about controversial questions in the classroom.