Mikhail Vandyshev1
  • 1 Ural Federal University, 19 Mira Str., 620002 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

To Include or Not to Include? Immigrant Children Education as Perceived by the Teaching Community in Sverdlovsk Region

2019. No. 2. P. 179–198 [issue contents]

Mikhail Vandyshev — Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Sociology, Ural Federal University. Address: 19 Mira Str., 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation. E-mail: m.n.vandyshev@urfu.ru

A survey of 160 school teachers was conducted in Sverdlovsk Region to find out what teachers think about whether immigrant children should be included or not, investigate the problems of inclusive and non-inclusive education for immigrant children, and consider feasible support measures for teachers dealing with this student category. As a social institution, the school responds to growing cultural diversity of the host community, while at the same time stabilizing it by reproducing certain sociocultural identities typical of the region and the country as a whole.

There is no consensus in the teaching community regarding which policy for immigrant children education should be preferred. About one third of the respondents believe such children should not be included since they do not speak the language of teaching (Russian). Meanwhile, 41 percent report that inclusive education makes adaptation and integration easier for immigrant children. Teachers interacting with immigrant children directly specify the problems and challenges associated with the emergence of this new student category: low learning preparedness, including poor knowledge of Russian; confrontations between children with differing migrant backgrounds; conflicts between immigrant and host community parents; difficulties of cultivating relations between teachers and immigrant parents; the precarious legal status of immigrants; and misunderstanding inflicted by differences in traditions, parenting practices and cultural norms that affect behavior. Most respondents (76%) are convinced that public education policy initiatives should prioritize enhancing teachers’ professional competencies. Over half of the respondents find it necessary to increase funding for immigrant children education as well as payment for the teachers involved.

Citation: Vandyshev M. (2019) Kak obuchat' deteĭ migrantov — vmeste ili razdel'no? Opyt pedagogov Sverdlovskoĭ oblasti [To Include or Not to Include? Immigrant Children Education as Perceived by the Teaching Community in Sverdlovsk Region]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no2, pp. 179-198.