Teaching profession and intercultural competence

Teachers are important participators in creating educational opportunities in a time of increasing social and cultural diversity. The project concerns teaching profession and intercultural education, and seeks to examine how educational policy and teachers create latitudes within which teachers work.

This project relates to intercultural education and teaching profession in general and teachers’ intercultural competence in particular. It analyses what agencies are set up by educational policy and teachers (through their practice) in order to implement intercultural education. Within a multilevel perspective, political documents as well as teachers’ reflections on and around their profession concerning intercultural education, are examined.

Teachers need and use their competence daily in their meeting with social and cultural diversity in their group of students. Their ability to act sensitively within a social and cultural diverse practice is considered to have a great impact on students’ education in general and their intercultural competence specifically. In this sense, teachers in the execution of their profession, make a vital contribution to both the constitution of the cultural and social diverse society and to the educational processes of students.

Although the intercultural competence is seen as increasingly important in today’s globalized world, the empirical educational research has so far paid little attention to the practical implementation and teachers’ understandings of intercultural education. Thus, the project contributes not only to the teacher education research, but also to the wider discussion about how to create a diverse and socially just society. Considering the need to strengthen social and cultural inclusion of society by reducing barriers of social inequality and cultural misrecognition, the intercultural perspective within education and educational research is of high national, international and interdisciplinary relevance.

There is a need for research based knowledge of how educational agencies effect teachers work and what teachers themselves think of their own role and possibilities for actions in their work with intercultural education/ competence. This project contributes to research knowledge on understanding education policy intentions, teachers’ interpretations and implementation of intercultural education in Norwegian upper secondary schools.

Discourse analysis. 


Assistant Professor
Department of Pedagogy, Religion and Social Studies

Projectperiod: 2015–2019

About the project in Cristin.