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Teachers from migrant and/or minority backgrounds’ meeting: one of SIRIUS priorities

On 4 and 5 June in Brussels took place the meeting for teachers from migrant and/or minority background. The focus of this meeting was what it means to be teaching in classrooms with students from diverse backgrounds. During the first 1,5 days, the central topic was on the professional capacity needed for teaching in diverse classrooms:

  • What are the key competences of teachers dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity?
  • And what are the necessary preconditions at school level when dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity?

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The underlying idea to invite teachers from migrant and/or ethnic minority backgrounds was that these teachers may potentially connect better to pupils from migrant background, and/or because, coming out of migrant communities, have specific experiences and skills that can be enriching for a team of teachers.

During the last half day, the organizers combined forces with MPG in a joint meeting with local and European migration and education stakeholders. During that afternoon, the findings of the first 1,5 days were presented, and other relevant topics were discussed with regard to developing the professional capacities of the teaching force in relation diversity in education.

Some conclusions

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  • Teachers agreed on the relevance of the five areas of expertise, language diversity and pedagogy/didactics being the most important.
  • Teachers agreed that more training in dealing with diversity for all teachers is needed, this implies that we need more material, in teacher training as well as in professional development programs.
  • Teachers agreed it was a good idea to start a European network for migrant/minority teachers, similar to the German network. This network could also play a role in the fact that most teachers emphasized feeling alone in their school, also in their attempts to support children from migrant backgrounds to increase their performance. This idea needs to be discussed in much more detail of course.

Download the power point presentation.

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