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  • 1.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
    African education systems, a postcolonial perspective2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Book Review: Finnish Lessons, What can the world learn from educational change in Finland?2012In: Karlstads Pedagogiska Tidskrift, ISSN 1653-4743, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 121-125Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    Book review: Education, Social Progress, and Marginalized Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: Historical Antecedents and Contemporary Challenges2018Other (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Göteborgs Universitet.
    Compulsory School Curricula of South Africa (RNCS, 2002) and Sweden (Lpo94).2008In: Compulsory School Curricula of South Africa (RNCS, 2002) and Sweden (Lpo94)., 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Compulsory School Curricula of South Africa (RNCS1, 2002) and Sweden (Lpo 294).

    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the compulsory school curricula of South Africa and Sweden. It focuses on contexts for their introduction, main actors in the process, democratic values they contain and their similarities and differences. Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is used for analysis. The curricula and references to other literatures show similarities and differences. Contextual similarities are that both countries were once under oppression and their masses were isolated from the education process and more resources were invested on their elites. At present the curricula of both countries strives for democratic education. A major difference is equal opportunities for the students to attend a school of their choice are higher in Sweden than in South Africa. The Swedish curriculum is more concrete on issues related to students, teachers and other school staff’s rights and responsibilities, and on relations between school, home and society.

    Key words: South Africa, Sweden, Curricula, and Democratic values

  • 5.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
    Critical Pedagogy: Origin, Vision, Action & Consequences2014In: KAPET, ISSN 1653-4743, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 90-98Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Critical pedagogy is a transformation-based approach to education. The aim of this article is to introduce the origin, vision, action and consequences of critical pedagogy. It also aims on finding out about educators’ possibility of actualising it in their practice. As a source materials articles, book chapters and books are used. The literature shows that critical pedagogy has its origin in the tradition of critical theory of the Frankfurt School and the work of the Brazilian pedagog Paulo Freire. According to the literature, its major theses is that education should go beyond transfer of knowledge and training the future labour force; to help developing critical consciousness, which leads to transformation of the individual, learning environment and society at large. Critical pedagogy is criticised for a focus on macro level system, for not having a model for classroom implementation and for being abstract. Despite some critics, I argue that critical pedagogy has still the potential to empower those in the field of education to increase their consciousness about the injustice in their society and to involve in transforming it.

     

    Keywords: Critical pedagogy, critical thinking, critical theory, dialogue, Frankfurt School, transformation.

  • 6.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Göteborgs Universitet.
    Curriculum Reform and Life Orientation Education in Post Apartheid South Africa2010In: Education Policy / [ed] Gregory Papanikos, Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research , 2010, p. 79-102Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Democratic Values in the Comprehensive Schools Curricula of the Nordic Countries.2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Democratic values in the comprehensive schools curricula of the Nordic countries.

     

    The major focus of this paper is to find out which aspects of democratic values are emphasised in the comprehensive schools curricula of the five Nordic countries. It is also an intention of the paper to find out similarities and differences in emphasis and if available data allows to further investigate the reasons for differences and similarities.

    Major sources for the work were curricula of comprehensive schools from the different Nordic countries. Each countries current curriculum was closely read to understand their contents and to undertake comparative analysis. Text analysis was used as a major tool to look closely at the text and context. For further knowledge journals on curriculum studies and other relevant materials were consulted.

    A preliminary review of the general section of comprehensive schools curricula of these countries show:

    In the Danish curriculum participation, responsibility and understanding rights and duties are emphasised.

    The Finnish curriculum raises issues on human rights, equality, natural diversity, preservation of environment and multiculturalism. Responsibility, a sense of community and respect for the right and freedom of the individual are emphasised. General diversity and gender equality are given significant attention.

    In the Icelandic curriculum the major focus is human rights, collective responsibility, participation, influencing, and respect. Concern for people, animal and the environment are included in the curriculum. Critical thinking and reflection, active cooperation & collective responsibility are also emphasised.

    The Norwegian curriculum mentions understanding, cooperation, independence, individual freedom and tolerance as important issues.

    Swedish curriculum raises issues on respect for human rights, respect for persons and the environment. It considers inviolability of human life, individual freedom and integrity, equality between women and men, solidarity with the weak and vulnerable as crucial points. Sense of justice, generosity of spirit, tolerance and responsibility, well-being and development of the individual, no discrimination and personal responsibility were among the areas the curriculum lifted up.

    The curricula in these five countries give room for democratic values. There are some variations on emphasises on specific issues. But all the curricula include issues of rights and responsibilities.

    Keywords: curricula, democratic values, Nordic countries

  • 8.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Göteborgs universitet.
    Education for Democracy?: Life Orientation: Lessons on Leadeship Qualities and Voting in South African Comprehensive Schools2010Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study takes as its starting point how teachers understand, interpret and teach social development aspects of Life Orientation in South African comprehensive schools. The specific focus is on lessons on leadership qualities and voting for third grade learners in four schools, each dominated by either Black, Coloured, White or mixed groups of learners. Field work with an ethnographic approach and a qualitative strategy was used to gain access to empirical data. Policy and curriculum documents, guidelines and textbooks were used. Classroom observations in four classes and interviews with 14 third grade teachers were conducted. Theoretical concepts of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction are applied. Ulf P Lundgren’s Frame Factor Theory is used to study school organization. Basil Bernstein’s Pedagogical Devices are considered when examining the different levels of pedagogical activities. To be a teacher in South Africa one needs to attend at least two years of teacher education after completing high school. Teachers in the classes studied underwent their teacher education during apartheid years. Due to limited in-service training, they sometimes experience problems of understanding and interpreting the learning area, which they usually tackle by consulting documents, colleagues or school authorities. The learners’ understanding varied based on their family background and type of school they attended. There were enormous differences in material, financial and organisational resources between classes and schools. The resources for teaching leadership qualities and voting were not, however, different between the classes. The lessons were teacher dominated and direct transmission was used as a method. The way teachers facilitated the lesson on leadership qualities and voting varied but all showed some democratic shortcomings. Apart from answering questions, learners were neither invited nor encouraged to participate to further their understanding of the theme. Limited aspects of leadership qualities were discussed, individual leaders’ roles were emphasised and the teachers picked candidates for class leaders in three of the classes. It was also evident that the class environments were not suitable for critical or creative thinking and democratic upbringing. The schools reproduced norms, values, languages and cultures of the different groups. Officially, teachers emphasised the common national South African identity. This emphasis on national identity could disguise the injustice some groups experience in society.

  • 9.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Failed grades, schools, families and neighborhoods: Swedish Immigrant pupils’ reflections on their reality2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University.
    Immigrant Students Reflections on Their Failed Results from Compulsory School: Reconsidering Multi-dimensional Solutions.2018In: Journal of Education and Cultural Studies., ISSN ISSN 2573-0401 (Print) ISSN 2573-041X (Online), Vol. 2, no 3, p. 209-222, article id doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p doi:10.22158/jecs.v2n3p 213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the study is to investigate reasons students with an immigrant background in one Swedish high school gives for their failure in some subjects at the end of their compulsory education. An interview with 18 students with an immigrant background is used as a method. According to the students, schools’ employment of substitute teachers without subject knowledge, reducing and firing competent teachers and less time for Swedish language lessons are reasons for failure in relation to schools. Other reasons given that affect results relate to family issues; leaving their country of origin, having many siblings and not getting enough attention from parents, parents inability to help them with school work, limited family financial resources and social obligations to support family members in their country of origin. In their residential area; not meeting persons with Swedish origin, lack of recreational facilities and meeting place, higher unemployment and crime rate are emphasized as affecting their lives and influencing their results. Based on the research findings and reviewed literature, students’ failure is mainly related to school, family and residential areas. The problems vary to a great extent, hence, the solutions should also bemulti-dimensional.

  • 11.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
    Lektioner om ledarskapskvalitet och röstningsförfarande i sydafrikanska grundskolor2011In: Kapet (avslutad tryckt version), ISSN 1653-4743, KAPET. Karlstads universitets Pedagogiska Tidskrift, ISSN 1653-4743, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 96-107Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna studie tar sin utgångspunkt i hur lärare undervisar om den sociala utvecklingsdelen av ”Life Orientation” i sydafrikanska grundskolan. Specifikt fokus ligger på lektioner om ledarskapskvalitet och om att rösta för tredjeklasselever i fyra skolor. Var och en av klasserna dominerades av antingen svarta, färgade, vita eller blandade grupper av elever. Ulf P Lundgrens ramfaktorteori användes för att studera skolans organisation. Basil Bernsteins ”Pedagogic device” användes för att förstå olika pedagogiska verksamheter i klassrummet. Fältarbeten med en etnografisk metod och en kvalitativ strategi användes för att få tillgång till empiriska data. Policy- och läroplansdokument, riktlinjer och läroböcker analyserades. Klassrumsobservationer i fyra klasser och intervjuer med 14 tredjeklasslärare genomfördes. För att vara lärare i Sydafrika krävs minst två års lärarutbildning efter avslutad gymnasieskola. Lärarna i de klasser som studerades genomgick sin lärarutbildning under apartheidtiden. På grund av begränsad fortbildning och bristande erfarenheter av den nya läroplanen hade de ibland svårigheter att förstå och tolka det aktuella ämnet. Enorma skillnader i material, ekonomiska och organisatoriska resurser förelåg mellan olika klasser och skolor. Lärarna dominerade lektionerna och direkt överföring användes som metod. Det sätt lärarna höll lektion om ledaregenskap och om att rösta varierade, men alla visade demokratiska brister. Lärarna valde själva kandidater till klassledare i tre av klasserna. Det blev också tydligt att klassernas miljöer inte befrämjade vare sig kritiskt och kreativt tänkande eller demokratisk fostran.

  • 12.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Life Orientation: Lessons on leadership qualities and voting in grade three classes in South African schools2013In: Online Educational Research Journal, ISSN 2044-0294, E-ISSN 2044-0294Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Life Orientation: lessons on leadership qualities and voting in grade three classes

    Abstract

    The focus of this study was lessons on leadership qualities and voting in grade three classes in four Eastern Cape schools. Frame factor theory and theory of pedagogical devices were used. The study employed text analysis, classroom observation in four 3rd grade classes and interviews with 14 third grade teachers as sources of data. The results of the study indicated there were differences among teachers when it came to understanding and interpreting the theme. The teachers interviewed have general qualifications but lacked training to teach this theme. Between the schools there were differences in manpower, material and financial resources. There were similar teaching procedures although there were differences in teachers’ approaches. Learners’ understanding was influenced by family background. In general, teachers dominated and controlled the whole procedure by proposing candidates and vote counters. Findings from this study could be relevant for teachers and other school personnel for their future commitment to teaching democracy by practising it. Keywords: Classroom, democracy, differences, leadership qualities, learners, life orientation, participation, South Africa, teachers, voting

  • 13.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    New Public Management in the Swedish Higher Education2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this study is to find out about the neoliberal New Public Management entry into the Swedish higher education institutions, its effect and the possible alternative to it. The study is based on articles in academic journals, policy documents and government sponsored reports. The result of the study shows that the Swedish higher education institutions are influenced by New Public Management. This is visible as market characters such as efficiency, competition, quality control, customer satisfaction is highly valued at present in the higher education. There is also emphasis on manpower training for the labour market. Easily measurable knowledge for immediate use of economic growth are prioritized at the expense of critical and analytical knowledge. Higher education’s autonomy is to some extent violated, collegial leadership is replaced by appointee leadership, staff are under pressure to follow instructions instead of exercising their academic freedom. Based on these findings I will argue against these trends and emphasis on the importance of all partners in higher education to review the present condition in order to facilitate the possibility for keeping higher education (universities) as public autonomous institution, to keep academic freedom intact, to assure that higher education should have both professional and democratic contents, and that higher education should continue to undertake basic long term and short term research for immediate use.

  • 14.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Nukruma’s and nyerere’s educational visions: what could contemporary africa learns from them?2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    NUKRUMA’S AND NYERERE’S EDUCATIONAL VISIONS – WHAT COULD CONTEMPORARY AFRICA LEARNS FROM THEM?

     

    Getahun Yacob Abraham

    Senior Lecturer

    Institution for Pedagogical Studies

    Karlstad University  

     

     

    This study tries to assess the educational visions of two post independent African leaders, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere. The focus is on, what could contemporary Africa learn from their visions on developing the welfare of society through education? To answer this question a literature review of their own works and other writers was conducted. The review shows that they emphasised on the need for education for further development in their own and other countries in the continent. They also focused on relating education with the local reality with due concern on the relevance of knowledge of the global reality. The instrumentality of education to change the life of the masses was given a vital place. For them  education should aim at including all sectors of society and on creating equality among the population instead of contributing to evolving an elite class that selfishly prioritize its own interest than the society at large. They stressed that education should not be too theoretical in the expense of the practical activities. According to them the purpose of education should go beyond individual gains and take into consideration the welfare of the whole society. In line with their visions information technology and welfare development in the continent should be assumed in a way that benefits the broad masses.  

     

     

    Key words: contemporary Africa, Education, Nkrumah, Nyerere, visions

  • 15.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    "Re-inventing" Freire for the 21:st Century2013In: KAPET, ISSN 1653-4743, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 8-17Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University.
    Teachers as pedagogues, intellectuals and activists for promoting social justice through education.2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study is to investigate how teachers prepare themselves to play their role of developing their students critical thinking to understand the injustice and power relations in their society. The emphasis is on teachers as subjects and their role on preparing “critical citizens” (Moyo, 2013) that will promote democracy and social justice. 

    Teachers are expected to work with different functions of education such as qualifications, socialization and subjectification (Biesta, 2015). Kincheloe (2008) describe teachers in a critical context as follows:

    Teachers working in a critical context rebel against the view of practitioners as information deliverers, as deskilled messengers who uncritically pass along a canned curriculum. Highly skilled scholarly teachers research their students and their communities and analyse the curricular topics they are expected to cover. In light of such inquiry, these teachers develop a course of study that understands subject matter and academic skills in relation to where their students come from and the needs they bring to school…  (Kincheloe 2008, 118).  

    My attempt to understand the role of teachers is inspired by critical pedagogy. According to this perspective, teachers who are willing to give room for their students and encourage them to be critical citizens are considered “problem posing educators” (Freire, 1970), “radical teachers” (Giroux, 1983), “public intellectuals” (Giroux, 2011), etc. According to Freire (1970) these teachers recognize the role of “teacher-student” and “student-teacher”; they teach their students and they are also ready to learn through their students´ reflections and from their life experiences. 

    These teachers in addition to their good theoretical understanding are also activists in their society. Through participation in organizations such as teachers´ unions, local cultural and social associations they are well informed about the current issues and demands of their society.

    In their classrooms, together with their students through “generative themes” (Freire, 1970) raises issues that are not only about school subjects but also relevant to the society at large. By using “dialogic metod” (Ibid., Shor & Freire,1987) they gradually approach the issues from different angels; this enable them to see inequalities and injustice some sectors of the society are experiencing. Beyond understanding, in practice they work on promoting democracy and social justice.  

    I would like to give two examples from the literature I reviewed. The first one is about an American high school teacher, who brought a leather soccer ball and put it in front of his students of Global Studies. He asked them to write anything about the ball and he told them they are allowed go to the front touch it and investigate it as they want. They wrote about it from different perspectives but all of them missed the text in small letters on the ball, that says Made in Pakistan. When the teacher showed them that, they started wondering why it was made in Pakistan, who produced it, how was the working condition for those who produced it, etc. This lead them to critically reflect and discuss even other issues related to materials produced abroad and the exploitative relations involved (Smyth, 2011). 

    The second example is about students from poor farmer families in Tuscany region in Italy. They were helped by their teacher, Don Lorenzo Milani to be aware of their underclass non-privileged position in their society and their school. Eight pupils from the school, Barbiana school wrote a book titled, Letter to A Teacher (Lettera). In their book, they criticized the school system for failing them and the privilege middle class children received in their expense (Mayo, 2013). 

     

  • 17.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    The Neoliberal New Public Management influence on the Swedish Higher Education2017In: Kapet (elektronisk), E-ISSN 2002-3979, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 45-58Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is about neoliberal New Public Management (NPM) entry into the Swedish higher education institutions, its effects and the possible alternatives to it. Academic articles, policy documents and government reports are used for the study. The results of the study show in the Swedish higher education institutions, NPM market characters such as efficiency, competition, quality control, customer satisfaction and manpower training for the labour market are emphasised. Easily measurable knowledge is prioritized at the expense of critical and analytical knowledge. Higher education’s autonomy is to some extent violated, collegial leadership is replaced by appointee leadership, and staff are under pressure to follow instructions instead of exercising their academic freedom. Based on these findings I will argue against these trends and emphasise on the importance of all partners in higher education to review the present condition to facilitate the possibility of keeping higher education as public autonomous institutions, academic freedom intact, assure that higher education should have both professional and democratic contents, and that higher education should continue to undertake basic long-term and short-term research.

  • 18.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Vägen från antagonism till agonism i Sydafrika, utbildningsreformer och läroplaner efter apartheid2014Other (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    What are the aims of the lessons on role models?: Teachers and pupils’ understanding of the theme in South African comprehensive school classes.2015In: Online Educational Research Journal, ISSN 2044-0294, E-ISSN 2044-0294, Online Educational Research Journal, ISSN 2044-0294, Vol. 5, no 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Role models was one of the themes for lessons in the Foundation Phase in the South African Revised National Curriculum Statement of 2002 (RNCS; Department of Education, 2002). The focus of the article is to discuss how teachers understood, interpreted and presented the theme to their pupils and how their pupils responded to it. The study is based on policy texts, observation of lessons and textbooks. Foucault’s concepts of normalisation and normalising judgment and Connell’s concepts of masculinity and sex roles are used to analyse results. The results of the study show similarities and differences in understanding and preferences of role models by teachers and pupils. While teachers emphasised officially known people as role models, some pupils considered family members and other people in their neighbourhood.Mandela was a favoured role model in most classes. Even if the theme of the lessons was role models, I argue that the covert agenda is normalising pupils to the existing dominant social norms of the society.

     

     

  • 20.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Barksdale, Mary Alice
    Virginia Tech.
    Literacy and Democracy in South African Primary Schools2018 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    von Brömssen, Kerstin
    Högskolan Väst.
    Internationalisation in teacher education: student teachers’ reflections on experiences from a field study in South Africa2018In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN 2000-4508, p. 1-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Internationalisation of higher education and teacher education has been a key issue since the 1990s and many universities still attempt to increase student mobility ever since. Much research has been done on the topic of internationalisation and higher education, including teacher education trying to show how a certain programme impacts on students’ learning, especially intercultural learning when it comes to programmes in teacher education. These studies are often directed towards programmes that last several months or a whole year. The focus of this study is rather to explore if and in what way experiences in a two-week field study can contribute to a student teacher’s intercultural learning and professional development. The findings of the research show that even a short field study has an important impact on the individual student teacher’s understanding of themselves and on awareness of teachers’ living and working conditions in a different culture like South Africa.

  • 22.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    von Brömssen, Kerstin
    Learning through short field studies, Swedish students voice on field studies in schools in South Africa.2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    The focus of this study is to explore in what way a short term field study can contribute to teacher students intercultural learning and professional development. The role that firsthand experience plays in culture learning has invariably been discussed to be a critical part in intercultural learning (Quezada 2012, 8). The empirical material for the study consists of interviews before, during and after a two week field study conducted with six Swedish teacher students in South Africa. Observations during the field visits were also part of the used methods. The students specifically reflects on the observed language barriers for children who are attending education with other languages than their mother tongue, strong discipline in classrooms and resource differences between schools. According to the students diversity in the culture and seeing pupils with diverse backgrounds in the same context will be helpful for their future carriers. They believe in particular that the field study experience will help them to meet pupils with diverse backgrounds in their own school classes. They also believe the field study helped them to gain an understanding of the Swedish education system in comparison to others. Thus, we argue that a short term field study can contribute to intercultural learning and professional development, although findings also suggest that the tutoring in the field plays a crucial role.

  • 23.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    et al.
    Karlstad University.
    von Brömssen, Kerstin
    Swedish student teachers´ perspectives on their short field study in South Africa.2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     

     

     

    SANORD 2018

     

    Getahun Yacob Abraham                                      Kerstin von Brömssen

     

     

     

    Swedish student teachers´ perspectives on their short field study in South Africa.

     

    Abstract

    This paper explores if and in what way experiences from a short field study can contribute to student teachers intercultural learning and professional development. The paper is based on focus groups and individual interviews, with two groups of Swedish student teachers that undertook a two-week field study in South African schools. Researches on internationalisation in higher education especially trying to show intercultural learning in teacher education, often last several months or a whole year. Thus, there is a knowledge gap on students’ doing shorter field studies, which our study wants to help fill. The findings show that even a short field study has an important impact on the individual student teacher’s understanding of themselves and awareness of teachers’ living and working conditions in a different culture like South Africa.  It is impossible to conclude that the student teachers became more interculturally competent through this short field study. However, the student teachers in their reflections turn their attention back to their own national context for critical comparisons. As underlined by the student teachers, experiencing the context of teaching and learning and meeting people “in reality” is something that really “grabs your heart”. 

    Keywords: Field study, intercultural competence, internationalization, student teachers

     

     

  • 24.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Wikan, Gerd
    Hedmark University of Applied Sciences, Norway.
    Postcolonial perspective, indigenous knowledge and critical theories for transforming universities and societies in Southern/Africa2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This conference paper will address some problems facing Southern/African universities. Instead of detailed discussion of general problems facing universities in Southern/Africa, it will focus on universities relation to their funding partners such as the state and external donors, as well as their role as higher education institution in terms of teaching, research and the outreach/community services program. We believe postcolonial investigation into higher education helps universities to look into their past and its impact on their present. Through researching indigenous knowledge systems, they can find out about locally developed knowledge that they can integrate into their educational curricula. Concepts from critical theories could be used to analyse universities relations to their funders, their teaching-learning process, their research and their outreach to their communities. Specifically, through using critical pedagogic approach, they can prepare their students to critically view the reality of their societies, to find out their needs and to participate in the process of their transformation. On the base of these perspectives, hopefully universities could address the problems of inequalities caused by class, gender, ethnicity and race.

     

     

    KEYWORDS: Postcolonial perspective, indigenous knowledge, critical theories, transformation, universities, societies, Southern/Africa.

  • 25.
    Thelander, Nina
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Abraham, Getahun Yacob
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Teaching children’s rights – what can we learn from Paulo Freire?2014In: Teaching children’s rights – what can we learn from Paulo Freire?, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract ECER 2014                                                                           

    Nina Thelander

    Getahun Yacob Abraham

    Karlstad University, Sweden

    Network 25

    Teaching children’s rights – what can we learn from Paulo Freire?

     

    Today, the importance of school results is stressed in political discussions as well as in public debates in many countries around the world. As school results are linked to economic growth international tests, as e.g. TIMMS and PISA, have become important tools in these debates as well as indicators for change in school systems. In our presentation we will use Sweden as an example where school results in international tests have led to changes in the national school system which, we will argue, has impact on children’s rights in education in different ways.  One illustration of changes outlined in the new steering documents is a stronger focus on “subject matter” emphasizing and requiring more and deeper knowledge in each subject in school where e.g. knowledge about children’s rights is more explicitly stressed. In this presentation we want to highlight some of these changes and discuss what they might mean from a child rights perspective?  In order to do so we will use ideas and concepts from Paulo Freire which, for instance, presents an alternative idea to “subject matter” teaching and discuss education from a somewhat different angel than expressed in today’s national curricula and syllabuses. This example will be the starting point to a broader discussion about Paulo Freire’s theoretical ideas and concepts in relation to children’s rights in education.

    To a large extent, researchers within the field of children’s rights in education are anchored in theories, which in different ways are, linked to ideas and concepts outlined within the sociology of childhood, which this presentation is an example of. Even though sociology of childhood has been and still is a fruitful way to study children’s rights in education specific educational theories and perspectives are claimed to be more highlighted and discussed (Quennerstedt & Quennerstedt, 2013)

    In order to contribute to the theorizing of children’s rights in education we will in this presentation elaborate the theoretical ideas and concepts of Paulo Freire and discuss his thoughts in relation to children’s rights in education, with examples from Sweden. Apart from Freire’s ideas about “subject matter” mentioned above his thoughts about the importance of good relationship between teachers and students, giving an opportunity for students to express themselves, and creating an open climate for conversation in the classroom is applicable with the intentions in the UN Convention on the rights of the child. The concepts such as oppression, banking verses problem posing education, dialogue versus antidialogue, generative themes, etc (Ferire, 1970) are also relevant for this work.

    In their everyday work teachers, instead of just trying to feed children with knowledge as expressed in the banking concept, it is preferable to involve children to come up with their thoughts and wonderings to generate themes that they can assess together with other children and their teacher. The dialogue with each other and their teacher could give children more opportunities to learn, than the anti-dialogic method where they are passive recipient of what comes from their teacher.  These thoughts of respect for children’s self-expression, working method that invites for participation and enquiry are in line with the convention for the rights of the child. Taken together these ideas and concepts form our aim for this presentation: what can we learn about teaching children’s rights from the theoretical perspectives and concepts of Paulo Freire?

     

    The theoretical framework is drawn from Paulo Freires ideas and concepts ( Freire, 1970, 1974, 1987, 1998) as well as from the sociology of childhood (James & James, 2004). These theoretical frameworks help us to analyze and cast light on further understanding of children’s rights in education. It will also help us to look closely to the Swedish primary school’s curriculum (Lgr.11) and other policy guidelines. Here the focus will be on the impact of the curriculum and policy guidelines on teaching children’s rights.   

     

    The study uses text analyses as a method. Convention on the rights of the child (UNICEF, 1989) and the Swedish primary school curriculum (Skolverket, 2011) are used to scrutinize what they provide on teaching children’s right. The provisions in the texts are viewed and analyzed in relation to Paulo Freire´s concepts on education.   

     

    The expected outcomes of the presentation are to elaborate children’s rights in education from Paulo Freire’s theoretical perspectives. The presentation will also contribute to the ongoing discussion of theorizing children’s rights in education. Our intention is to publish an article from this presentation.

     

     

     

     

     

    References

    Freire, P. (1970/2012). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

    Freire, P. (1974). Education for critical consciousness. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

    Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

     

    Freire, Paulo and Shor, I. (1987) A Pedagogy For Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming

    Education.Westport: Bergin &Garvey.

    James, A. & James, A,L. (2004) Constructing childhood: Theory, policy, and social practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillian

    Quennerstedt A, & Qunnerstedt, M, (2013) Researching children’s rights in

    education: sociology of childhood encountering educational theory. In British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2014 Vol. 35, No. 1, 115–132, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2013.783962

     

    Skolverket (2011). Curriculum for the primary school, Lgr 11. Stockholm: Skolverket.

    UNICEF (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. New York: UNICEF.

     

     

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