Introduction

My research question is: "How has the influx of students with a multicultural background affected/changed the norwegian school system." I chose this since I work in a school is a multicultural school in Norway and seeing that norway is a society that prides itself on being inclusive and understanding I wondered what the "Norwegian approach" to multicultural education might be.

Background

A graphical representation of the growth and change in the immigrant population in Norway
A graphical representation of the growth and change in the immigrant population in Norway
Norway was chosen as I have a fairly good understanding of how the traditional education system works there and it has seen a significant change in the composition of the immigrant population in recent years. This change is evident in both the amount of immigrants and where they come from. You can read more about this at SSB.

What is multicultural education?

Banks says that “Multicultural education is an idea, an educational reform movement, and a process” It is an idea that seeks to create equal educational opportunities for all. As a movement it seeks to change the entire school environment. This is of course challenging as the goals are almost abstract ideals and therefore it is a process that is constantly changing and developing.

There is a lot to be said for looking at this as more of a philosophical approach that approaches the community as a whole instead of each classroom and lesson separately. I believe that often people treat multicultural education as a classroom activity instead of a way to shape the school community. As one of the teachers interviewed by A. Haugelund puts it when talking about the students experience of multicultural education: “It is important that they are not being reduced to a part of a multicultural showcase”.

Avoiding this multicultural showcase is challenging and in some cases almost impossible to avoid. Perhaps it is possible to use some of the “showcase” expectations of the external community as a vehicle for change?

What is different in Norway?

In short, there is nothing different about the approach in Norway than in other countries. An advantage the norwegian system has over many other is noted in the book “Multicultural education”: “But Norway's trump card may be the country's willingness to tax itself in order to provide an effective level of social services, particularly in the area of education.

Reflection

I found this topic incredibly interesting and I would love to spend time on learning even more about it. If I were to continue working on it I would try to contact some of the authors behind the articles that I read. I would also try to visit some schools where they are working to create a multicultural environment.

Mind map

The below mind map is generated using mindmeister.com it should update itself as I change it. If you have problems viewing it you can also access it by going to:
http://www.mindmeister.com/105833326/multicultural-education-in-norway



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Research