Workshop: Rethinking equity and collaboration in educational institutions addressing forced migration

Anja Heikkinen, Professor of Education, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Golaleh Makrooni, PhD researcher, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Regina Rischan-Fickler, Clinical and Health Psychologist, trained and educated in Austria
Folajimi Akinribola, M.A. in Teacher Education, with artistic background, Tampere University

Countries with well-organized social, health, welfare and education system and a strong commitment to equal opportunities have many advantages to the inhabitants of the host country as well as to the newcomers. However, sometimes the pursuit towards equality can lead to overlooking the diversity of the needs of people. While values guide people´s attitudes, behaviour and actions, the conceptions about education and role and function of educational institution may extensively vary among people with diverse backgrounds in the society.

The ability to deal with values from different cultures can promote production of cross-cultural knowledge and open doors for cross-disciplinary expertise, which would take into account values, socio-cultural knowledge, and increasing mobility across national borders. The new cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary studies could consist of programmes for teacher training (for different stages, cross disciplines), and for education for new kinds of experts in sustainable development. New programmes could include cross-disciplinary studies between teachers, educators, work trainers, social workers, psychologists etc.

The workshop focuses on the challenges of diverse values and their impact on the ability of educational institutions to promote participation of refugee and migrant background people in and with the host society.

In the workshop, four topics will be discussed related to forced migration and refugee:

  1. encountering equity wall in education and society (at different sides of the wall)
  2. struggles about divergent conceptions about masculinity and femininity in education and society
  3. navigation between different actors in educational, social, health and welfare system (potential request for cross-disciplinary work and professionalism)
  4. successes and failures after graduating from vocational and higher education and in participation in working life.

Process of the workshop:

The participants will discuss topics in small groups and the results will be presented in a plenary session. Additionally, the participants will create a portrait with special artwork, which provides opportunity for creative, nonverbal expression of their experiences. The aim of the workshop is to develop statements for action and for starting future networking in cross-disciplinary settings.

The duration of the workshop is 2 hours.