Perceptions and Constructions of Marginalisation and Belonging in Education (PeCMaBE)

Our research project Perceptions and Constructions of Marginalisation and Belonging in Education (PeCMaBE) examines marginalization in Finnish comprehensive schools especially in relation to the role of schools and teachers in the construction of marginalization of pupils.

A fair amount of research has been done on the marginalization of children and youth but in most cases the school’s role has been assumed to be positive in preventing marginalization and providing opportunities to disminish marginalization. The significance of our study is that it takes the students’ own views (how do they perceive and construct marginalization?) as the departing point. The students will act as co-researchers and the focus of the study is on the data that they will collect. We also study the attitudes, expectations and actions of principals, teachers and other school personnel (e.g. school psychologists, nurses, administration staff) that can make students’ marginalization less or more likely. We anticipate that this will allow us to show that marginalization is a multifaceted phenomenon in education, and not just reduced to certain categories of students (e.g. migrants).

Based on ethnographic studies in two schools in one large city in Finland we will propose some macro- and micro-strategies for reducing marginalization caused by teachers and schools. The data will be collected through a mix of methods such as participant observations and interviews as well as more innovative methods like focus groups, mapping of marginalization, photography, photo-elicitation interviews and logs. The analysis of the triangulated data is based on discourse analysis and thematic analysis, which all allow examining data in a complex and multidimensional way.

The Pecmabe project is part of the Nordic Centre of Excellence ”Justice through education in the nordic countries” (JustEd).

Project leader: Professor Gunilla Holm, University of Helsinki

Original participants: Fred Dervin, Ina Juva, Anna-Leena Riitaoja, Jenni Helakorpi

Current participants: Gunilla Holm, Ina Juva

Funding
Academy of Finland 2013-2015. Ongoing.

Juva, I., & Holm, G. (2016). Not All Students are equally equal: Normality as Finnishness. In K. Kantasalmi & G. Holm (Eds.), The State, Schooling, and Identity: Diversifying Education in Europe. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Juva, I., & Vaahtera, T. (2017). Getting along – social skills required to be normal in the Finnish school. In T. Vaahtera, A-M. Niemi, S. Lappalainen & D. Beach (eds.), Troubling educational cultures in the Nordic countries. London: The Tufnell press.

Juva, I., Holm, G. & Dovemark, M. (2018). “He failed to find his place in this school” – Re-examining the role of teachers in bullying in a Finnish comprehensive school. Ethnography & education. (Forthcoming)

Juva, I., Holm, G., & Dovemark, M. (2018, September). Normality and bullying - Re-examining the role of teachers in bullying in a Finnish comprehensive school. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research, Bolzano, Italy.

Seppänen, P., Riitaoja, A. L., & Kosunen, S. (2017, August). Selection and grouping of pupils in comprehensive schooling in Finland: discourses of embedded ability-grouping and social hierarchies. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2016, August). Students’ perspectives on bullying: Challenging the existing means of preventing bullying in school. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, Ireland.

Riitaoja, A. L. & Juva, I. (2016, August). Migration and education: the borders of citizenship. Chairing the workshop in Nordic Migration Research Conference, Oslo, Norway.

Riitaoja, A. L., Helakorpi, J. & Holm, G. (2016, May). Being prepared for the precariat or academic future: special education students negotiating and challenging possible educational paths. Paper presented at CESE conference, Glasgow, UK.

Riitaoja, A. L., Helakorpi, J. & Holm, G. (2016, March). Special education students challenging and negotiating their positionality. Paper presented at NERA conference, Helsinki, Finland.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2016, March). Exclusion as an individual choice: Teachers’ and staff members’ discourses on student exclusion. Paper presented at JustEd preconference, Helsinki, Finland.

Riitaoja, A. L. & Skinstad van der Kooij, K. (2016, March). Processes and aspects of exclusion and inclusion in Nordic school contexts. Chairing the symposium at JustEd preconference, Helsinki, Finland.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2016, January). Intersectionality as a tool for intercultural communication and competence. paper presented at  the Fifth International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2016, February). Epistemological Considerations for Analysing Intersectional Asymmetries in Educational Research. Paper presented at Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2014, November). Structural asymmetries in schools: Describing and problematizing the positions of privileged and marginalized students. Paper presented at FERA Annual meeting, Oulu, Finland.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2014, October). The construction of Otherness in school: A study of curriculum texts and everyday life of two primary schools in Helsinki. Paper presented at ETMU-days, Helsinki, Finland.

Riitaoja, A. L. (2014, September). Methodological considerations for analysing asymmetries in educational ethnographic research. Paper presented at Oxford Ethnography Conference, Oxford, UK.

Juva, I. (2014) Marginalisation as absence of normality: teachers discourses of marginalisation and normality in two Finnish comprehensive schools. 27th Conference of the Nordic Sociological Association, Lund.

Juva, I. (2014) Marginalisation as absence of normality. Power, Culture & Economy. Tampere.

Juva, I. & Holm, G. (2014) Teachers’ discourse on normality, marginalization and migrant students. ETMU days. Helsinki.

Juva, I. & Holm, G. (2014) Teachers’ discourse on normality, marginalization and migrant students. International Association for Intercultural Education IAIE – conference. Toronto.

Juva, I., Riitaoja, A-L. & Holm, G. (2015) Teachers’ constructions of student marginalization and belonging in two Finnish schools. NERA 2015 - Marketisation and Differentiation in Education. Helsinki.

Juva, I. (2016) Social skills and constructions of normality in the Finnish school. NERA. Helsinki.

Juva, I., & Holm, G. (2016) Normality as Finnishness. JustEd pre-conference. Helsinki.

Juva, I., Holm, G., & Riitaoja, A-L. (2016) Being outsiders and disempowered: marginalized youth. CESE Equity in and through education: Changing contexts, consequences, and contestations. Glasgow. 

Juva, I., (2018)”It is a bit difficult to bully someone for being similar” Bullying and normality. JustEd2018 ‘Promoting Justice through Education’ International Research Conference. Helsinki.

Juva, I., & Holm, G. (2018) Not all student are equally equal: normality as Finnishness. Home Matters: Meanings metaphors and practices. International conference on new imaginaries and globalised inclusions and exclusions in practices of making home. Helsinki.