A mapping exercise was conducted to find out to what extent and in what ways teacher training institutes for primary education in the nine NAOS countries prepare teachers for teaching in diverse classrooms. We have collected information from two institutes in each of the NAOS countries using a questionnaire that was either administered online or used in an interview setting. The questionnaire asked the participants to describe courses and activities offered within the scope of diversity. This questionnaire took the form of the five emphasized NAOS themes/areas of expertise, and can be accessed here:

TEACHER TRAINING FOR DIVERSITY – QUESTIONNAIRE

Perhaps the most efficient way to summarize our findings is through the following table, listing each country’s provided courses & activities on each area, in addition to a tally of number of courses offered per area among all:

 COUNTRIES
TOTAL NUMBER OF COURSES PER COUNTRY
       LANGUAGE    
 PEDAGOGY
     SOCIAL   PSYCHOLOGY
     PARENTAL    INVOLVEMENT 
 COMMUNITY-        SCHOOL
OTHER AREAS
CYPRUS
15
3
2
8
2
GREECE
10
2
3
2
1
2
NORWAY*
6
1
1
3
1
CROATIA
13
3
4
3
1
2
NETHERLANDS
9
3
1
2
2
1
PORTUGAL
7
1
5
1
BELGIUM
15
2
5
4
3
1
ESTONIA
32
9
4
16
3
LITHUANIA
2
1
1
TOTAL NUMBER OF COURSES PER AREA
24
25
39
11
3
7

 

*The results from Norway refer to courses in one teacher training institute only.

CONCLUSIONS

-It becomes clear that social psychology is the area of expertise most frequently tackled, followed by pedagogy and language. This is unsurprising, as mitigating the prevalence of discrimination and social exclusion can be rendered to be one of the primal  concerns of policy makers and educators, especially considering a number of these countries have not been traditional destinations for immigrants in the past; this inexperience means prejudiced attitudes will inevitably be commonplace and rapid to form within a society. In contrast, parental involvement and community-school relationships appear to be the area of expertise neglected the most. This finding of course has important implications, as immigrant students are often underrepresented, and additional effort is required to prevent exclusion of parents already struggling to acclimate. Integrating such students and their parents should constitute a communal effort, and hopefully can become a priority in the years to come following these relatively discouraging results- which we hope can fuel a wave of change.

-Concerning the in-service teacher training methods, educational seminars and training modules seem to be the most widespread practices. Estonia offers opportunities for in service training by incorporating e-learning courses, while four respondents did not mention any formal ways of in-service teacher training.

For an in-depth look at our results, we hereby attach the analysis report written in response to the mapping exercise:

NAOS REPORT march 2016