Kenen historiaa monikulttuurisessa koulussa?
Most changes that ethnic and cultural diversity brings to teachers' work are perhaps shared by any teachers irrespective of school form or subject specialisation, but some of them are more directly subject-specific. History as a school subject is not only an academic reconstruction of the past but also a reflection of the nation's collective memory which is a more subjective and affective relation to the past. Due to the relatedness of historical memory and collective identity history education in any society although not necessarily in all schools, has a tendency to reflect the ethnocentric characteristics of the national narratives. These characteristics are, however, becoming more and more inadequate due to the growth of cultural diversity as part of the students may experience that it is not their history that is taught. In actuality, culturally diverse classes are meeting places for different historical cultures, and consequently a challenge to history education and its often one-dimensional narratives. Theoretically, the present study is grounded on previous research about history teaching and historical understanding in diverse socio-cultural contexts as well as on research on history teachers and teacher education in relation to diverse contexts. The purpose of the study is to examine how cultural diversity influences history teaching, and how history teachers, student teachers and foreign-born adolescents with immigrant backgrounds experience the teaching of history in culturally diverse classes. The study consists of the following parts: 1) Teacher study. Interviews of eight teachers, all of whom had a long experience with culturally diverse classes. The research questions dealt with their conceptions and experience of teaching history, and of good practices and challenges related to teaching. 2) Student teacher study. The purpose of this sub-study is to investigate student teachers' ideas about diversity, their experiences of teaching, and their reflections on their own development as teachers in multicultural contexts. This follow-up study is based on 22 prospective teachers' written reflections and on the interviews of selected nine students of this group. 3) Research on adolescents' conceptions of and attitudes towards history and history teaching. Totally 3ó adolescents from various ethnic backgrounds were interviewed for the study. The method can be described as qualitative content analysis in which the data are first coded (open coding) in order to create an inventory of first level key concepts. The teachers had differing views about the history curriculum. Some of them emphasized the role of the national core curriculum in limiting their possibilities of dealing with the history of other cultures, whereas other informants viewed the curriculum as more flexible. Most teachers did not question the significance of national history. Most of them had also tried to include the history of migrant students' cultures in their teaching, which to the researcher resembles the additive rather than the integrative approach to multicultural education. It seemed to be difficult for experienced as well as for beginning teachers to apply the ideals of multiperspectivity in their teaching, or vary the teaching contents in accordance with the diversity of the classes. Both of these groups had adopted a relatively careful approach to the current political conflicts and sensitive and controversial issues in their teaching. In most cases, the foreign-born students in this study expressed their interest in history They had wanted to learn about their own cultures, but instead of the school, the main source of this information had been the family or the media. The history of the respective countries seemed to be powerfully connected to the students' identities, although all this does not become visible in ordinary history lessons. ...
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