„Það er ekki til ein uppskrift“ Fyrsta ár flóttabarna í leikskólum í þremur sveitarfélögum á Íslandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Árið 2016 kom hópur sýrlenskra kvótaflóttafjölskyldna til Íslands frá Líbanon og settist að í þremur sveitarfélögum (Stjórnarráð Íslands, 2019). Markmið rannsóknarinnar, sem hófst síðla árs 2016 og er langtímarannsókn, eru að athuga reynslu flóttabarna og foreldra þeirra af leik- og grunnskólastarfi og frístundastarfi; og að athuga reynslu stjórnenda og kennara í skólum og frístundaheimilum af móttöku barnanna, skipulagi náms og samstarfi við foreldrana. Í greininni er fjallað um þær niðurstöður rannsóknarinnar er snúa að reynslu starfsfólks leikskóla af móttöku og starfi með flóttabörnum úr hópnum og foreldrum þeirra fyrsta árið. Fræðilegur grunnur rannsóknarinnar er í gagnrýnum sjónarhornum á menntun og skólastarf (Banks, 2013; May og Sleeter, 2010; Nieto, 2010) og fjöltyngismenntun til félagslegs réttlætis (Chumak-Horbatsch, 2012; Cummins, 2004; Skutnabb-Kangas, Phillipson, Mohanty og Panda, 2009). Gagnrýnin sjónarhorn á menntun og skólastarf og fjöltyngismenntun til félagslegs réttlætis eru mikilvæg tæki til að varpa gagnrýnu ljósi á reynslu barna af menntun og leggja til umbætur. Gagna var aflað með hálfstöðluðum viðtölum við starfsfólk sex leikskóla. Niðurstöður benda til þess að börnunum vegni vel í leikskólunum og samstarf við foreldra gangi almennt vel, ekki síst vegna góðs undirbúnings fyrir komu flóttabarnanna. Það eru þó ærin verkefni sem leikskólarnir standa frammi fyrir, og snerta m.a. ólík tungumál og menningu.
In 2016, eleven Syrian quota refugee families arrived in Iceland from Lebanon and settled in three municipalities (Stjórnarráð Íslands [Iceland Government Offices], 2019). This longitudinal qualitative interview study aims at understanding the experiences of these adults and their children in their preschool and compulsory school settings and leisure time activities; and to explore the experiences of principals and teachers in their schools and leisure time centres of the children´s reception, studies and educational partnerships with their parents. This article presents the findings of interviews with staff in six preschools in the three municipalities concerning the experiences of the reception and the first year of the children´s schooling. Altogether seven refugee children from the group, which arrived in 2016, attended these six preschools. They were one to five-years old when they started preschool in 2016. The theoretical framework of the study includes critical approaches to education (Banks, 2013; May & Sleeter, 2010; Nieto, 2010) and multilingual education for social justice (Chumak-Horbatsch, 2012; Cummins, 2004; Skutnabb-Kangas, Phillipson, Mohanty & Panda, 2009). These approaches provide an important framework for critically addressing educational experiences of children and suggesting improvement. Methods included six semi-structured interviews with principals, heads of divisions and other staff in the children´s preschools, altogether twelve individuals. The interviews were conducted in April-June 2017 in the preschools. Two individuals from each preschool participated in each interview. A thematic analytical approach (Braun & Clarke, 2013) was applied to analyze the data. The main themes derived from the data were: preparation for the arrival of the children; reception of the children and the first year; educational practices; language acquisition; transition to compulsory school; educational partnerships with parents; and culture and religion. The preschools differ in many ways, including size and age, policy and practices. The ratio of children with foreign background in the preschools differs, while all the preschools have some experience of working with culturally and linguistically diverse groups of children. The findings indicate that the children are doing well in the preschools and the educational partnerships with the parents have been largely successful, not least because of thorough preparations before the children´s arrival. However, the preschools have many tasks and challenges to address, including for example the children´s emergent bilingualism and different cultural heritage. Educational practices in the preschools are inclusive and diverse and active participation of the children is emphasized in free play as well as organized activities. The older children get extra support in Icelandic in small groups with other emergent bilingual children. The schools do not provide mother language support in Arabic; however, their language and other languages are made visible in various ways in the schools and the children sing and count in different languages. Such emphasis is in line with multilingual education for social justice which ChumakHorbatsch (2012), Cummins (2001, 2004), Skutnabb-Kangas et al. (2009) and others have emphasized. The staff show respect and open-mindedness towards the culture and religion of the families and respect their effort of adapting to very different social and cultural conditions in Iceland. The staff are generally not trained in multicultural and multilingual education (Banks, 2013; Chumak-Horbatsch, 2012; Cummins, 2001, 2004; Nieto, 2010), however, the educational practices in the preschool adhere to such emphasis in many ways, according to the findings. Although most of the families are doing well after the first year, the staff note that some of the parents are becoming increasingly worried as time passes and that this could be related to concerns about their children´s future. The findings indicate that educational partnerships with parents could be strengthened further in the preschools and that professional development of the staff in multilingual and multicultural education, as well as Icelandic as a second language, could provide a stronger educational and social basis for the refugee children. Hiring Arabic speaking staff for building bridges between preschool and parents and supporting the children would also be beneficial.
Original languageIcelandic
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalNetla
VolumeSérrit - Menntun barna í leikskóla og á yngsta stigi grunnskóla
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2020

Other keywords

  • Flóttabörn
  • Leikskólar
  • Fjölskyldan
  • Áskoranir
  • Refugee children
  • Preschools
  • Families
  • Challenges

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