Schools can be a vehicle for social mobility and developing a sense of belonging to the local community. Within schools, teachers are key for creating opportunities for learning and participation. However, they may also inadvertently reinforce the barriers due to the assumptions embedded in the institutional structures.
TEAMS project focuses on teachers’ work within institutional structures, and in relation to other professional and social groups and networks, including students, their families, school colleagues and specialists. The aim is to address the urgent need to understand and help teachers support migrant students integration in terms of their academic success and cross-cultural socialisation, and a sense of belonging in the school community.
We conduct social network analysis and ethnographic fieldwork using a participatory methodology to engage school staff and students throughout the project, including photography and film workshops for students to express their experiences in creative ways.
The increase in migration has put considerable strain on receiving school systems in many countries. Countries have differing policy approaches to the education of migrants, arising from historical or contextual factors. The characteristics of receiving school systems is a stronger predictor of migrant students' learning than either cultural background or prior education (OECD, 2015).
TEAMS will work with six schools in Scotland, Finland and Sweden to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the institutional structures and teachers’ day-to-day interactions for supporting migrant students. The cross-country design allows us to gauge the impact of particular policies and strategies on migrant integration across contexts.
We have studied the meaning of peer interaction for newly arrived migrant students (NAMS) in Sweden.
National and local policies can have an enormous impact on the integration of young people from migrant backgrounds.
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