Educators and researchers increasingly recognize the impact of teachers’ agency on language education policy enactment in their classrooms. The study is aimed to conduct cross-cultural comparisons of Israeli and Icelandic teachers regarding their agency towards linguistically and culturally diverse children in a preschool context. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 selected teachers who had rich pedagogical experience in educating children with immigrant background. In both countries, we found that teachers’ agency was expressed on continuums from teachers’ proactivity to teachers' passiveness regarding linguistically and culturally diverse teaching; from perception of home language as a resource to viewing it as a barrier to the child's progress in the societally dominant language; and from equal relationships to teacher-parents’ hierarchical relationships. Despite historical and socio-cultural differences between the two countries, we found striking similarities between the teachers in their reports on classroom management of diversity and interactions with children and families.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Israel, Iceland
- Linguistically and culturally diverse children
- Preschool education
- Teacher-parents’ relationships
- Teachers’ agency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language