«A Comparative Case Study of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Ireland by Melanie Liese B.A. School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies ...»
According to the study, migrants are also represented as victims and mainly “als Opfer von Vorurteilen [wonach] die deutschen Schüler [...] ihre Vorurteile am Beispiel des Objekts „Migrant‟ reflektieren und korrigieren sollen” [as victims of prejudice whereby the German students should reflect and correct their prejudice by drawing on the example of the object „migrant‟] (ibid, p.608).
The authors concluded that recurring structures in relation to discourse on the migrant, identified in media and textbooks, show “daß9 ein allgemeiner gesellschaftlicher Konsens über das Anders- bzw. Fremdsein von Migranten existiert” [that a general societal consensus exists about migrants being different or foreign] (ibid, p.611).
The study “Die Anderen im Schulbuch” [The Others in the Textbook] by Christa Markom and Heidi Weinhäupl, published in 2007, focused on the representation of the Others in a wider context, i.e., not just migrants in one‟s country but also the Others abroad. The study, carried out in Austria, examined biology, history and geography textbooks used in fifth to eight grade (Markom and Weihnhäupl 2007, p.IX). Here, the authors examined to what extent academic discussions around specific „-isms‟, namely “Orientalismus, Sexismus, Rassismus, Evolutionismus und Antisemitismus” [orientalism, sexism, racism, evolutionism and anti-Semitism] have been represented in Austrian textbooks (ibid, p.1). The Others in the study are described as such in an ethnic and cultural sense, in terms of sexuality as well as gender. Using a combination of Critical Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Content After the new spelling rules in German the conjunctive “dass” is no longer spelled “daß” (DWDS).
Analysis and Text- and Context Analysis the authors were able to categorise the textbook material in relation to the theoretical principles of the above-mentioned „–isms‟ (ibid, p.231).
According to the study, textbook authors dealt with “Rassismus, Sexismus und anderen -ismen” [racism, sexism and other –isms] insufficiently although they saw it as important “offene Diskriminierungen zu vermeiden und Rassismus abzulehnen” [to reject open discrimination and racism] (ibid, p.1). In this context, Markom and Weinhäupl pointed out: “Die unterschiedlichsten Regionen, Religionsrichtungen und gesellschaftlichen Kontexte wurden vereinheitlicht, Machthierarchien ausgeblendet und scharfe Grenzen zu “den Anderen” gezogen. [The different regions, religions and social contexts were unified, power hierarchies were masked out and sharp lines were drawn in relation to “the others”.] (ibid).
Furthermore, the terminology used in the textbooks examined by Markom and Weinhäupl included prejudiced terms such as “Eskimos”10, “Buschmänner” [bush men], “Steinzeitmenschen” [cave men], “Sippen” [tribes], “Horden” [hords], “primitive Volksstämme” [primitive tribes] and “Zigeuner” [gypsies] (ibid).
With regard to stereotypical representations, the authors pointed out that the textbooks examined partially avoid clichéd and stereotypical references. However, they also criticised that “gleichzeitig [...] rassistische, heteronormative und sexistische Diskriminierung kaum konkret benannt [wird]“ [at the same time, racist, hetero-normative and sexist discrimination is barely named] (ibid, p.4). They argued that providing background information and naming stereotypes as well as challenging and critically discussing them would be a better way of working against marginalisation (ibid, pp.4-5). In this regard, Markom and Weinhäupl‟s study not only demonstrates how the Others are portrayed in textbooks, but also gave practical suggestions and advice on better practice.
In relation to Textbook Research in the Irish context, the author of this study did not come across any similar studies, with exception of a thesis submitted as part of an The term “Eskimo” is seen as pejorative (see Bertelsmann 2008, p.169).
MA degree at Dublin City University in 2006. Haddad‟s study, entitled “Examining Multicultural Literature Books for Children in First to Fourth Class. A case study of a Dublin multicultural primary school”, looked at “multicultural children‟s textbooks written for children in first to fourth class” (Haddad 2006, p.i). Multiculturalism in education and literature formed the theoretical framework of his study (ibid), which aimed to “determine if the textbooks [...] reflect the rich cultural diversity of its pupils [and] examine in what ways the diverse cultures are represented” (ibid, p.49).
Haddad considered all representations of diversity and compared, for example, the portrayal of Spanish themes with that of African themes in the textbooks examined (ibid, p.54). He summarised his key results saying “that the norms, values, culture, and history presented to children in this school [the case study] embody the norms, values, culture, and history of the dominant social classes” (ibid, p.60). Furthermore, Haddad concluded, amongst other things, that the textbooks examined did not “value diversity” (ibid, p.61).
In summary, it can be said that the normative function of textbooks, “als relevante und prägende Dokumente sozialen, politischen und gesellschaftlichen Denkens” [as relevant and formative documents of social, political and societal thinking] (Markom and Weinhäupl 2007, p.4), has long been recognised. It forms the basis of Textbook Research, which is mainly concerned with the analysis and revision of textbooks in order to promote a greater understanding between hostile nations as well as between the majority and minorities in societies.
The studies in relation to ethnic and cultural diversity in Germany have shown that specific representations of the „other‟ exist, but do not do so from an intercultural perspective. Accordingly, although a change from a rather colonial and discriminative discourse, described by Guggeis (1991), to a portrayal of the „other‟ as a problem (Radkau 2004, Höhne, Kunz and Radke 2005) had been observed, the representation of the ethnic and cultural diversity widely remains a subject of discussion. In relation to the representation of the ethnic and cultural „other‟ in the textbooks for Ireland, Haddad (2006) came to the conclusion that the „other‟ is not adequately portrayed and claims that therefore diversity is not valued in the textbooks examined.
This study will draw on the studies referred to in this chapter. By examining the representation of the ethnic and cultural „other‟ in textbooks of North RhineWestphalia and Ireland respectively for the academic year 2007/ 2008, it aims to explore how the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is portrayed.
Educational responses to the ethnic and cultural diversity in North Rhine-Westphalia and Ireland respectively will be explored in the next chapter.
Overview of Curricula
3.1 Introduction The introductory chapter has shown that ethnic and cultural diversity is an integral part of modern German and Irish societies today. In 2007 around 14.1 per cent of primary school pupils in North Rhine-Westphalia were pupils with a nationality other than German and 3.4 per cent were ethnic Germans (Aussiedler) (Ministerium für Schule, Jugend und Kinder des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen 2007). Similarly, in Ireland “it is estimated that newcomer students made up approximately 10 per cent of the primary school-going population [...] in 2007” (ESRI 2009, p.XIV). With the growing number of migrant children attending primary schools in both countries, this chapter explores the various educational responses to diversity.
In particular curricular guidelines have been examined, since the curriculum of a country acts as an agent between a government and society, and as an important guide for educational providers, including schools, teachers and publishers of teaching materials. “Die Richtlinien und Lehrpläne legen Aufgaben, Ziele und Inhalte der Bildungs- und Erziehungsarbeit in der Grundschule fest.” [Guidelines and curricula determine the purposes, aims and content of education in the primary school] (Ministerium für Schule, Jugend und Kinder des Landes NordrheinWestfalen 2003, p.13).
The relationship of curriculum and textbook is one of interdependence as the curriculum largely determines textbook content while the textbook, being the main medium of teaching and operating within the confines of a curriculum, is crucial for its delivery. Publishers in both countries are bound to the specifications of curricular guidelines when developing schoolbook content. In North Rhine-Westphalia the publication of schoolbooks is regulated by the Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung [Ministry for School and Further Education] and schoolbooks have to go through an examination process before they can be approved for publication. In Ireland “textbooks are a matter for educational publishers” (OECD 2009, p.94), and do not need to be licensed by the Department of Education and Science before they reach the schoolbook market. Nonetheless, as part of this study, the main schoolbook publishers in Ireland have been asked whether they have taken the Primary School Curriculum (1999) and the Intercultural Education in the Primary School Guidelines (2005) into consideration, when developing schoolbook content. Six out of ten publishers replied that they do take both guidelines into consideration, while four did not respond. We can assume, however, that those who did not respond are also familiar with the Primary School Curriculum since schoolbooks have the function of assisting teachers in delivering the curriculum. Because a curriculum plays such a prominent role in the development of schoolbook content it is appropriate for this study to examine the role of ethnic and cultural diversity in the curricular material in each of the two contexts being examined. This is explored in the next section.
3.2 Education Policies and the Curriculum for the Subject of
German in North Rhine-Westphalia:
Ethnic and Cultural Diversity 3.2.1 Background Although ethnic and cultural minorities have been part of German society for decades, especially since the recruitment of foreign workers in the 1950s and 1960s, official responses to migrants in education have been slow and it was not until “after 1964 that schooling became compulsory for „guest-worker children‟ (Gastarbeiterkinder)” (Faas 2008, p.109). The rather slow reaction is mainly due to the German government‟s stance in encouraging migrants to return to their home countries – a stance that has already been described in the introductory chapter.
When this did not happen to the extend expected, the government responded with an approach of assimilation during the 1970s and 1980s (Tautz 2007, p.47) Not being able to speak the German language, in this context was seen as a deficit, and “die wesentliche Aufgabe der Pädagogen und der Schule [wurde] zunächst in der Beseitigung der Sprachbarrieren gesehen” [the main task for educators and the school was seen firstly in the elimination of language barriers] (ibid). According to this model, which is called Ausländerpädagogik [foreigner pedagogy], the ethnic and cultural „other‟ has largely been seen as “eine Gruppe mit besonderen Bedürfnissen, mit Defiziten im Vergleich zur durch die einheimische Kultur und Sprache gesetzten Normalität” [a group with special needs, with deficits which compare to the normality which is characterised by the native culture and language] (ibid).
A change from the approach of assimilation came about in the late 1980s when the intercultural education model, which included anti-racist education was introduced.
“Dem Konzept der Ausländerpädagogik gegenüber sieht das Konzept der interkulturellen Erziehung die Anpassungsschwierigkeiten auf Seiten aller Beteiligten” [With regard to the concept of foreigner pedagogy, the concept of intercultural education recognises that assimilation difficulties exist for all involved] (ibid, p.48). According to this model “minority ethnic people should be allowed to maintain their mother tongue and cultural heritage” (Faas 2008, p.113).