Silent Partners in Multicultural Education

Edited by:
Tuija Itkonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Fred Dervin, University of Helsinki, Finland

A volume in the series: Research in Multicultural Education and International Perspectives. Editor(s): Fred Dervin, University of Helsinki, Finland. Zehavit Gross, Bar Ilan University.

Published 2017

This volume aims to stimulate interest in the under‐researched role of silent partners (SPs) in multicultural education. Silent partners include formal and informal places‐spaces in schools (e.g. architecture, classroom facilities, libraries, corridors, playgrounds, canteens), objects (e.g. teaching aids, furniture, wall decorations and overall interior design), interactive technologies (use of devices and applications) but also often taken‐for‐granted and not immediately visible patterns of thought, ideologies and assumptions.

People involved in education all engage and work with a number of SPs that contribute to the delivery of curricula, but also to social life and well‐being in and out of schools. The way places‐spaces, objects and technologies influence the school community’s experiences of learning, well‐being and social justice is rarely observed and problematised in education – hence the adjective ‘silent’ in the term ‘silent partners’.

This book not only fills a significant empirical gap, but it can also inject public debate over future working environments in schools for multicultural education. It will be relevant to both researchers interested in developing their knowledge on these issues from a different perspective but also educators in search of inspiration for multicultural education.

Praise for Silent Partners in Multicultural Education:

“How to organize your classroom’s configuration in such a manner that all pupils feel welcome and comfortable? While most of those invested in multicultural education focus on the optimization of various linguistic aspects, Itkonen, Dervin and their colleagues give voice to the non‐verbal aspects of education. In this book they elaborate how formal and informal places‐spaces in schools can unintentionally reflect ideologies and cultural assumptions. They illustrate this perspective with telling examples that come from what is widely perceived as one of the best educational systems in the world. This book is an important, innovative contribution to the question of inclusion of all pupils in our school systems. It provides an eye‐opening perspective to researchers in the field, teachers, principals and stakeholders willing to work for social justice in their schools”. ~ Emmanuelle Le Pichon, Vorstman, Researcher and Assistant Professor, Languages, Literature and Communication Department, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics

“Congratulations are in order for this ground breaking and significant book. As the editors and authors convey convincingly and often poignantly, multicultural education is an increasingly politicised phenomenon that needs all the friends and allies that it can garner. The book's coverage of silent partners in education ‐ objects and technologies operating in specific places and spaces ‐ is therefore timely. Yet, as the book also highlights, these silent partners can exert negative power as well as positive influence on educational outcomes. The book presents a compelling account of the fundamental ambivalence framing these partners and formal educational provision more broadly. Rendering these silent educational partners visible and open to scrutiny is a significant scholarly achievement by the Education for Diversities Research Group in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland, building on their well‐deserved reputation for exploring the implicit and tacit and yet impactful dimensions of intercultural education and understanding. The book is appropriately diverse and inclusive in its concerns, with attention being directed at education in Finland, France, and the United States. Likewise the coverage traverses international and national schools, higher education, teacher education and productive methodologies for researching silent partners. This innovative and thought‐provoking volume is highly recommended for its originality in helping us to see education for diversities in a new and powerful light.” ~ Patrick Alan Danaher, Professor in Educational Research in the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education, Associate Dean (Research and Research Training) in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, Toowoomba campus of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia; Adjunct Professor in the School of Education and the Arts, Central Queensland University, Australia.

“Silent partners do not only reflect the ways we conceive of education but they also influence our practices as educators. Being silent, they are often taken for granted. The strength of this book lies in its critical questioning of the notion of silent partners. The chapters enlighten about the untold and the effects they have in an educational environment. The readers, especially in the fields of education and social justice, will definitely acquire a more sensitive perception of how silent partners affect our approaches to multicultural education.” ~ Dr. Regis Machart, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Putra Malaysia; Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland

Foreword, Silvia Sasot. Introduction, Fred Dervin and Tuija Itkonen. SECTION I: THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL UNDERPINNINGS. Reading the World as Texts: Intertextuality in Theory and Practice for (Art) Education, Martina Paatela‐Nieminen and Tuija Itkonen. Analyzing Curricula Documents: A Model for Understanding and Cultivating School Subjects, and One’s Subjectivity, Liisa Hakala and Tiina Kujala. SECTION II: UNCOVERING THE ROLES OF SILENT PARTNERS. Constructing Norms and Silences on Power Issues Related to Diversities Displayed in School Spaces: Analysis of Schools in Finland and the United States, Anna‐Leena Riitaoja, Etta Kralovec, Heidi Layne, Haiqin Liu, Rick Orozco, and Heini Paavola. Poblano High School: Signifying the Possibilities of Silent Partners, Richard A. Orozco. “That Makes Us Very Unique:” A Closer Look to the Institutional Habitus of Two International Schools in Finland and France, Saija Benjamin and Amin Alemanji. The Quest for the International Campus: Where the Silent Reality Meets the Loud Fantasy? Anu Härkönen, Mika Launikari, and Fred Dervin. SECTION III: PUSHING THE POSSIBILITIES OFFERED BY SILENT PARTNERS. GET OUT! Developing Pedagogical Practice for Extended Learning Spaces in Intercultural Education, Hanna Posti‐Ahokas, Hille Janhonen‐Abruquah, and Rita Johnson Longfor. Beyond a “Starless Midnight of Racism?” A Review and Critique of Antiracism Apps, Aminkeng A. Alemanji and Fred Dervin. About the Authors.