Norm critical pedagogy in the second language classroom
Sammanfattning: English as a second language (ESL) classrooms in Sweden constitute multicultural and social platforms where different language backgrounds and attitudes meet and where norms intersect, are contested and negotiated, creating possibilities for some, but limitations for others. The Swedish National Agency for Education promotes norm critical pedagogy (NCP) as a means to tackle degrading treatment and prevent discrimination in school and in society. NCP posits that restrictive norms, such as heteronormativity, can be challenged in school settings if they are made visible. How teachers approach norms in their classrooms depends on their own awareness of and attitudes to norms. In addition, teachers can feel hesitant to address norm-related issues. Since NCP is a relatively new approach making its way on the Swedish educational arena, promoters of NCP stress the need for more research documenting norm critical teaching practices, especially on how NCP can be approached in specific school subjects, such as ESL. By examining educational steering documents and teacher interviews through discourse analysis and descriptive coding, this qualitative case study yields an insight into the way in which certified ESL teachers might regard and approach norms in the classroom. The results of this study suggest that teachers of ESL can approach norms in a number of ways: by interpreting norm critical pedagogy, solving conflicts and drawing on teachable moments, choosing material, negotiating classroom norms and by learning from reflection. Additionally, this study points to the need for more research such as on successful strategies for implementing NCP in school curricula.
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