Towards a better understanding of preschool teachers’ agency in multilingual multicultural classrooms: A cross-national comparison between teachers in Iceland and Israel

Mila Schwartz, Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, Nurit Kaplan Toren, Orit Dror

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101125
JournalLinguistics and Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Israel, Iceland
  • Linguistically and culturally diverse children
  • Preschool education
  • Teacher-parents’ relationships
  • Teachers’ agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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