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Childcare, multiculturalism, and welfare state regimes: Policy and practice in the United Kingdom and Sweden

Posted on:2011-06-13Degree:Ph.DType:Thesis
University:Boston UniversityCandidate:Pellegrino, TaraFull Text:PDF
This dissertation explores the relationship between welfare regime models and multilingual-multicultural education. It tests the hypothesis that multilingual-multicultural education is more likely to arise and thrive in the context of the Scandinavian, social democratic welfare states than in the British, liberal welfare state because of the legacy of greater overall social programming in the former and of lesser overall social programming in the latter and because of the dominance of public sector education in the former and the important role of commercial, voluntary organization, and independent education in the latter.;The research design included interviews with policymakers and educators, as well as direct observation of classroom practices, in London, United Kingdom and in Stockholm, Sweden. The interviewees in each country included one academic expert, one national official, three local officials, and twenty-two public school staff members (teachers or administrators) at heavily minority schools. Following interviews, classroom observation was also carried out to assess multiculturalism in the areas of materials and speech-activity. Approximately 60% of the classes observed were early childhood (toddler-preschool). However, in order to evaluate continuity or discontinuity, approximately 40% of the classes observed were elementary (kindergarten or higher).;The responses of the interviewed officials, teachers, and administrators regarding the role of social policy legacy in the promotion of multiculturalism were more supportive of the hypothesis in Sweden than in the United Kingdom. Other explanations for the presence or absence of practices promoting multiculturalism offered by the British interviewees included the role of pedagogical research, the size of a country, its homogeneity or heterogeneity, the dominant group, and the number of languages. Other explanations offered by Swedish interviewees included the desires of parents and communities, the gross domestic product, the political platform of the current government, and the social status of minority groups. The level of multiculturalism observed in classrooms was the same in both countries, although there was greater reliance on materials for this purpose in Britain, as opposed to speech-activity, which requires greater training and public investment, in Sweden.
Keywords/Search Tags:Welfare, United kingdom, Sweden, Multiculturalism, Education
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