SIG 21 - Learning and Teaching in Culturally Diverse Settings


Sylvi Vigmo

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Gudrun Ziegler

Luxembourg multi-LEARN institute

Becky Bergman

University of Gothenburg

Mission statement


The SIG brings together researchers who study culturally diverse schools, classrooms and other educational settings from the perspectives of learning, teaching, social interaction and home-school relationships. Ethno-cultural diversity in schools is a big challenge for European education as large scale studies of school achievement have shown that migrant students often do not perform as well as native students and have fewer opportunities to be successful in the school system. Schools and teachers can find it difficult to adapt to the diverse cultural and language backgrounds of students. At the same time, research on what happens in culturally diverse schools, classrooms and other educational settings has been a neglected area. We think that the educational research community can contribute to the future of European society by putting research on processes within and around culturally diverse settings higher on the agenda. The SIG wants to contribute to this aim.


Currently, given the scarcity of knowledge, we think that in-depth studies of school and classroom processes and events are crucial. Similarly, studies focusing on the experiences of learners, teachers and parents are very important. Studies might concern issues such as: language diversity and communication processes in classrooms, (cultural) representations of teaching and learning and their impact on teachers' and learners' identities, cultural expectations, student-teacher relationships, home-school relationships, learners' experiences of cultural transitions, learning and cultural identities, (best) practices of teaching in culturally diverse settings, and special programmes for supporting migrant students to promote their learning. Culturally diverse schools exist in the context of educational policy therefore we also want to encourage the exchange of information between countries about educational policies and language policies, and the impact of these policies on processes in schools, classrooms and other educational settings.
We invite researchers who study these and other relevant topics to join the SIG 21. The SIG will organise occasions for its members to exchange and discuss their research. In particular, we will organise a biennial meeting, starting May/June 2008, and distribute a newsletter.


SIG 10,21 & 25 Biennial Conference

Process-oriented Research on Learning in Contemporary Society
July 1st-3rd 2020
University of Groningen