Language, citizenship and schooling: A minority teacher's perspective
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBurner, T., & Osler, A. (2021). Language, citizenship and schooling: A minority teacher’s perspective. London Review of Education, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.19.1.07
In an age in which a shift towards increased authoritarianism and populism means that citizenship is defined in increasingly exclusive ways, migrant teachers’ perspectives are vital in informing inclusive educational decision making, policies and practices. We draw on the life history tradition to present the perspectives of one minority teacher, living and working in Norway. Elif, a Turkish-Norwegian, reflects on her motivations in pursuing teaching as a career. As a multilingual minority teacher, she considers the relationships between language use, citizenship and belonging. For Elif, having Turkish roots and living in Norway presents certain advantages, possibilities and challenges, both in school and society. She suggests that her intercultural experiences and multilingual skills provide her with insights that enable special relationships with minority students, whose language skills and identities she seeks to activate and demystify. She identifies tensions between the Norwegian ideal of equality, her experiences of being minoritized by her professional peers and the mechanisms of exclusion operating among teachers to the detriment of minority students. Minority teachers’ insights inform education for social justice. Including their stories avoids distorting knowledge critical to inclusive citizenship and inclusive processes of teaching and learning.