A Critical Analysis of an Innovative Approach: A Case of Diversity in Norwegian Education
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSage Open. 2016, 1-11. 10.1177/2158244016680689
This article investigates an innovative approach that has as its aim to ensure that more students complete secondary education. The national program, called Competence for Diversity, puts emphasis on children with minority language background, that is, children with another first language(s) than the Norwegian national languages. In this article, we report on how educators participating in this program understand the term diversity and how they work to enhance diversity in their local contexts. The study applied mixed methods, where questionnaires (n = 86) and interviews (n = 40) were used to collect data. In addition, document analyses were performed. The results suggest that there is a significant gap between the educators’ and the educational authorities’ understanding of diversity as outlined in official documents. We claim that there is a need to define diversity, rather than implicating and addressing “the Others” when launching and implementing a national program on diversity.