Diversity and differentiation in primary school (MÅDIG)

Forces that increase segregation in education are gaining even more power in several cities around the world, including Northern Europe.

Processes related to urban and school-based segregation in cities often have a negative impact on the everyday school environments where children spend a significant part of their waking time. Cities are facing pressure that leads to differentiation and isolation of schools and classes. The big question in the teaching profession then becomes, how can one build up teaching in one's class both in terms of community and learning: how is inclusion and pedagogical differentiation simultaneously constructed in everyday life in schools?

MÅDIG focuses on what can be done to deal with the possible segregation between the Swedish-language schools, especially in Helsinki and more generally in the whole of Swedish-speaking Finland. This study will contribute to international research on social justice in education, policy and practice regarding ethnic and social mix in basic education, mixed level grouping and learning outcomes, as well as on positioning and categorization practices and teachers' pedagogical solutions in Swedish-speaking Finland.

The aim of this project is to analyze how segregation is seen in Swedish-language schools and in the every day life of students, and to identify the most crucial policies and practices that contribute to different schools in connection with inclusion and pedagogical differentiation in teaching: how teaching is handled in classes with students with different backgrounds and knowledge levels? We are interested in whether children from different social and educational backgrounds come into contact with each other in school everyday life and outside of school, and what is the role of teachers and other educators in providing for students' different needs in inclusive circumstances. The empirical material consists of interviews with teachers in different schools in Swedish Finland.

This research project is the first of its kind which focuses on Swedish-speaking Finland.

Team in MÅDIG:

Sonja Kosunen

Ida Hummelstedt

Alma Lüttge

Gunilla Holm

Birgit Schaffar-Kronqvist

Pia Mikander