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  • Titill er á ensku Social Justice-oriented Teaching in the English Language Classroom: Perspectives and Practices
  • Meistara
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This thesis reports on a research project conducted on English language teaching under the framework of social justice-oriented teaching at the upper-secondary school level. English language teachers engage in social justice-oriented education when following the six pillars stipulated in the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide. In the Icelandic National Curriculum, literacy; sustainability; equality; health and welfare; democracy and human rights; and creativity are pillars that are intertwined with a vision of preparing students to take part and to maintain a socially just society.
    Similarly, the aims for literacy and communication stipulated in the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide focus on activities that empower students to develop the cultural literacy of other nations and the ability to communicate and cooperate with individuals from other nationalities. Although the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide mandates seem explicit, the schools’ free interpretation of the mandates have led to educational inconsistencies. These inconsistencies became clear after the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results from 2006, 2009, and 2012 became public. The results demonstrated that students of foreign descent and immigrant students received lower scores compared to students born and raised in Iceland.
    Therefore, the aim of this study is twofold: to investigate how English language teachers address the challenges emerging from the increasing numbers of culturally diverse students and to discuss them with respect to social justice-oriented learning and teaching practices. This study is necessary, because it highlights the current practices of English language teachers and makes valid suggestions on what can be improved in the future.
    The study is conducted by taking individual interviews with ten English teachers who are currently working in five different upper-secondary schools in Iceland. The results from this study indicate most participants received training in language teaching and learning, but few teachers received training in culturally responsive teaching. According to teachers, the needs of multicultural students are undervalued as they are put too soon into regular classes. Although there are success stories of immigrant students who succeed in their academic studies, there are also stories of at-risk students who failed to graduate due to a lack of academic support.

  • 28.6.2017

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