Mapping the field of multicultural education
The aim of the study was to map organizations and their activities in the field of multicultural education over the last few years, to give an overview of their competences and capabilities, and to gather ideas from practitioners on issues related to multicultural education and their possible solutions.
Of the organizations mapped within the survey, the target groups for multicultural education are most often staff from educational institutions – teachers, school leaders, including kindergarten staff. Outside of school, the target group is students and children of new immigrants, although there are significantly more activities in this direction than those aimed at school staff.
With regard to the training of educational staff, it was argued that there should be a holistic approach to the school environment, and in particular support and training of the school team, including the headteacher, headteacher and key teachers, including the board of trustees as parents. In addition to staff training, it was found that there was a lack of educational material for schools and kindergartens, but also for other organizations and individuals who come into contact with children, with particularly precise guidance and practical tips.
Although organizations active in the field generally cooperate with at least several other organizations, they find that their cooperation in the field is rather limited and fragmented. One important area of concern in terms of both competence and networking is the attachment of competence and experience to specific people, who often leave the organization with a loss of knowledge.
Those involved in the field of multicultural education outlined a number of key ideas to develop in the field. First, the emphasis is placed on the awareness of multiculturalism as an enriching resource – discourse should change from ‘problem’ to ‘opportunity’. The focus should therefore shift from how to deal with different students to how to use the difference of all as a resource. Second, multicultural education needs to move beyond language-centered approaches and language learning to other aspects of multicultural education, including as a target group the entire student population and other educational institutions, not just minorities of different nationalities or migration backgrounds.