Research Reconsiderations Concerning Cultural Differences
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBecher, A.A. (2004). Research Reconsiderations Concerning Cultural Differences. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 5(1), 81-94. http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/validate.asp?j=ciec&vol=5&issue=1&year=2004&article=8_Becher_CIEC_5_1_web
‘Minority children’ experience a lot of shifts in their cultural contexts. The author’s work as a professional teacher in multicultural classes enabled her to focus on the research questions presented in this article. These questions concern the need for some minority children to achieve equal opportunities in the Norwegian educational system. The author uses her teaching practice and ethnographic notes to put forward two particular cases that illustrate the issues of her concern. Informant interviews with teachers in the same school inform the methodology. Positions outlined by Stephen May discussing degrees of essentialism in theory and practical work with children are used when discussing the cultural challenges involved in these cases. Following this, critical multiculturalism raises the question of cultural differences and of how to theorise and do research without creating culturally essentialising categories. This article alerts readers to the plight of children in shifting cultural contexts, to the challenges they are facing, and to the skills and competencies they are developing. It seeks to contribute to two current areas of debate, namely inclusive education and internationalisation.