Doris EdelmannSonja BischoffMichael BeckAngelika Meier

More students with migration backgrounds at Universities of Teacher Education. Theoretical reflections and empirical insights on potential aspects and challenges from the perspectives of pre-service teachers and lecturers


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Continuous migration processes are shaping the social reality in Switzerland and their education system, thus also the Universities of Teacher Education. However, the growing migration-related diversity in the student-population is not reflected among pre- and in-service teachers, since to date only few successful young adults with migration backgrounds decide to become teachers. While the migration-related diversity of the student-population in schools has been receiving a lot of attention for some time, up to date there are still hardly any meaningful studies about preservice teachers with migration backgrounds in Switzerland. Due to the lack of empirical data so far, it can only be speculated what the potential aspects and challenges could be if the percentage of students with migration backgrounds at Universities of Teacher Education were to increase. In this context the research project DIVAL (= Diversity of pre-service teachers: focus migration / Diversität angehender Lehrkräfte: Fokus Migration) was co ducted at the University of Teacher Education St.Gallen. It consists of two sub-studies: Based on an online survey the migrationrelated diversity of all students was assessed. During focused group discussions, students with and without migration backgrounds as well as lecturers where asked about the relevance they attribute to migration backgrounds during teacher education.