The vast majority of Ukrainian refugees are women and children, many of school age. This new wave of refugees exacerbates an already accelerated rise in the number of migrants globally as people continue to move for economic reasons or to escape natural disasters and conflict.
A growing number of learners are participating in instruction through their second or additional language. This challenges teachers to consider their practices in supporting the knowledge construction, both in the language of schooling and with the rich multilingual resources brought to classroom interaction by the learners.
In two previous blog articles, Marc Sarazin and Tuire Palonen discussed the importance of studying collaboration networks in schools. The fundamental idea is that the collaborative relationships between actors in schools (teachers, administrators, parents, counsellors, etc.) and the patterns they form make a difference in the school outcomes and experiences of students, including those from migrant backgrounds as we postulate in the TEAMS project.
Teachers and other school staff members have faced huge changes and requirements in their work like technology-enhanced learning and teaching, globalisation and multiculturalism, and most lately the challenges raised by the global pandemic. These recent and partly unexpected challenges have increased the demands and pressures for school staff members’ daily work even further than their initially demanding work.
Sweden has a long history of being a country that receives immigrants from many different parts of the world. Education of these migrants, especially children of school age, has been seen as an integral part of migrant integration and the challenges and opportunities they face have been the topic for different research areas.
Diversification has increased in Finland for the last three decades. The proportion of people who have a foreign background is still smaller than many other European countries, but changes can be seen in Finnish society and everyday discussions.
With the increased globalisations and dynamic flow of migration, multilingual, multicultural, and multimodal classrooms seem to be a dominant matter rather than the exception in most contemporary societies. However, national policies concerning language education for new arrivals in most states are inconsistent, contentious and contradictory, even in countries with long histories of inward migration like the US and the UK.
Professionals, including educators working at schools, have to constantly update their knowledge and develop their skills and competencies so as to cope with various kinds of earlier known or unforeseen challenges and problems. It is easier to handle complexity if one does not need to do it alone. Connections or ties between colleagues provide access to many kinds of resources and pieces of advice.