Navigating race and ethnicity in research: Reflections on working with Norwegian schools

The MIPEX policy index (2015) provides a comparative assessment of the degree to which 38 nation-states, including Norway, adopt a framework of laws and policies to promote equality and participation and prevent discrimination. Norway ranks joint fourth with Finland (the UK is 15th), having some of the most favourable learning conditions and political participation opportunities for new migrants. Since 2008, however, it also has some of the least favourable family reunification policies and limited education access for unaccompanied minors. With regard to schools, Norwegian policies focus on targeting individual students’ needs, with teachers required to adjust content and methods to enable maximum inclusion. However, unlike Finland, where a state-based curriculum promotes local curriculum development by the teachers, in Norway teachers’ role is largely to deliver the national curriculum (Mølstad, 2015). Despite a high MIPEX ranking, claims about positive multicultural education policies can be challenged, since ‘multicultural education’ is directed towards minorities, not all students.

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