Learning Spaces for Inclusion and Social Justice: Success Stories from Immigrant Students and School Communities in Four Nordic Countries

In the project, students´ success is defined as social as well as academic success.

Two main aims of the study are to 1) understand and learn from the experiences of immigrant students who have succeeded academically and socially and 2) explore and understand how social justice is implemented in equitable and successful Nordic school contexts and other learning spaces.

The project integrates four subthemes and main research areas that are clearly interrelated and will be explored in this project. These are: 1) Experiences and aspirations of immigrant students; 2) Teachers' professional development, pedagogy and teaching practices: Teachers as agents and facilitators of inclusion; 3) Leadership, collaboration and school cultures: Promotion of democratic participation and collaboration of students, teachers and parents; and 4) Policies and curricula: Main criteria relating to equity, inclusion and social justice in educational policy and national curriculum guidelines, and in school policy and curricula.

The data collected and the findings from the proposed research will shed light on a myriad of good practices according to socially and academically successful immigrant students; as reported by teachers, principals and parents; and as observed by the researchers in school communities. Success stories and practices which have enabled immigrant student success and created learning spaces for inclusion and social justice in school communities and elsewhere will serve as strategies and new guidelines for teaching and school reform.

We see the project as being an important contribution to educational policy, school reform and teacher education, thus benefitting all participants in our research and contributing to inclusion and social justice. The interdisciplinary approach, mixed methods and different aspects included in the research project will provide a broad, innovative knowledge base on the implementation of social justice in diverse Nordic school contexts as well as providing comparison for the international context.

Contacts

Siri Bjarnar. Photo: NordForsk

Siri Jørgensen Bjarnar

Acting Chief Operating Officer