Proceedings of The 5th World Conference on Teaching and Education
Teacher’s facing with interculturality and the role of school counsellor
Marija Javornik , Andrej Kirbiš
The society of today is a mosaic of different cultures, with a mixture of their characteristics. Every one of these cultures tries to put itself forward and gain on its power. The competition among cultures can also be observed in the education system where different children, belonging to different cultures and social status, children of different talents and aptitudes, meet. This kind of plurality is thus gaining its attention among teachers and education counsellors, whose work is thus affected in a way which should be known to both, as well teachers as also education counsellors, as they can substantially affect the efficiency of their help and practice.
The school environment should be organized in such a manner that the transition of the child from the family and its cultural environment to school should represent a logical (non-aggressive) expanding of the child’s social environment and his/her development. Here, a major role is played also by the school counselor. Counseling is necessary for the pupils at their internal (intrapersonal) level to develop their cultural identity which will be the backbone of their intimate life, and to develop the ability to empathize with the culture of others, to feel the cultural diversity. Numerous authors dealing with counseling (cf. D’Ardenne & Mahtani, 1989, Harris, 2003) have stressed the importance of cultural factors in counseling.
The subject of this article is thus the teacher’s acceptance of interculturality. In the first part of the article theoretical basis of the teacher’s acceptance of the interculturality in class is presented and the role of education counselling, as an important (supportive) factor of teacher’s facing the interculturality, is stressed out.
In the second part the results of the (unrepresentative) empirical research are introduced, which show the teacher’s acceptance of interculturality in educational practise. Within the empirical research, we were interested in: (1) Teacher’s acceptance of interculturality (As positive aspect or as a problem?); differences which may occur regarding the sex of the teacher, the teacher’s field of teaching, working experience and their direct contact with the Roma children (have they ever experienced teaching the Roma children). (2)Teacher’s evaluation of education counselling as supportive factor for positive acceptance of interculturality.
The questionnaire is based on appropriate literature and previous researches. The first four questionnaire questions are focused on objective facts – sex, the field of teaching, the period of employment and direct (non-)contact with the Roma children.
The following questions are of a closed type but with the possibility of complementary, which gave us the answer to the question about teacher’s acceptance or unacceptance of interculturality. Furthermore, there is also a closed question about the evaluation of education counselling as supportive factor in positive acceptance of interculturality. The data was processed with the help of SPSS programme. For the testing of differences among variables we used chi-square test.
The results of research suggests that in many cases interculturality in school is an advantage only in theory – for as long as they do not encounter them for themselves. We could even rephrase it as: They support it for as long as it does not become the matter of their school; in the opposite case they start listing a number of problems.
keywords: cultural identity, counseling, Roma children, education