Hjälp! Eleven sa svartskalle! : En kvalitativ intervjustudie om hur lärare bemöter främlingsfientlighet i klassrummet.
In a multicultural society such as Sweden opposition between different ethnical groups can be hard to avoid. In the educational arena there is legislation and there are guidelines that aim to avert any kind of xenophobia directed at individuals or groups. As teachers occupy the end point of the educational chain the execution of these guidelines is for the most part left up to them.
This paper aims to study how teachers handle situations where xenophobia is present and if so how they work preemptively against it. It also takes a closer look into the notion of professionalism within the teacher force with the aim of trying to answer whether teachers reach the requirements of professionalism. To do so we apply Gunnar Berg’s definition of the term 'professionalism' together with other scholars' thoughts on the subject. To study this phenomenon nine interviews with pre-written questions were performed with teachers in social studies and history at the high school level. There was also time given for interviewees to voice any other concerns they had.
Our results showed that all social study teachers were aware of their preemptive work against xenophobia, while only two of the history teachers deliberately planned for it. In this context the majority of teachers interviewed conducted themselves to some degree of professionalism. Our conclusion regarding teachers' notions of professionalism is that it depends what requirements are set on the definition of the concept. In this study we can see a great deal of autonomy in the teachers interviewed, however, it ultimately depends on the context in which you judge professionalism.
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