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Teaching Civic Orientation for New Residents in Sweden: on Competence Development and Knowledge Sharing in a Growing Profession
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA)
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3203-7062
2017 (English)In: Uddevalla Symposium 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industrial Dynamics in Internationalized Regional Economies: Revised papers first presented at the 20th Uddevalla Symposium 15-17 June, 2017, Trollhättan, Sweden / [ed] Iréne Bernhard, Trollhättan: University West , 2017, 165-178 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Due to the increasing number of refugees in Sweden, there is increased pressure on integration organizations to educate new residents about their rights and obligations in the new country. In Sweden, this is done with a mandatory course in civic orientation for those who get a residence permit. The courses are held in the native language of the new residents, thus increasing the demand for people with both language and pedagogical skills to hold civic orientation courses. The civic orientation classes include participants with different backgrounds and ages. The only common denominator among the course participants is the language. Thus, it isnot conventional teaching where students have more characteristics in common, and integration workers are not conventional teachers since not all of them are professional, trained educators. Therefore, we claim that we see a new profession in the making since these integration workers are recruited as integration workers in Sweden on the basis of their individual background rather than on formal training. In order to illuminate this new profession, this study compares and contrasts thework situation, processes of competence development and knowledge sharing by integration workers in a small and a big city in two different municipalities in west Sweden. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with eight integration workers and two course coordinators. The analysis was based on the dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation by Nonaka (1994). Results indicated that the work situations share similarities in relation to how the courses were organized and planned for. However, organizational differences became evident due to the number of integration workers, quality management, employee support, and possibilities for knowledge sharing. These differences also created varied difficulties in how to improve courses and learn from other civic orientation teachers. It is concluded that there is a need for better national coordination and knowledge sharing on both the individual and organizational level. The study suggests that there should be a dynamic, interactive national support system where integration workers could systematically and individually share experiences to improve the quality of the civic orientation courses. This becomes essential since local conditions create huge variations regarding experience-based improvement of thecourses, thus jeopardizing both content and process quality of the mandatory courses by putting all responsibility on the individual teacher.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West , 2017. 165-178 p.
Series
Reports University West, ISSN 2002-6188, E-ISSN 2002-6196 ; 2017:1
Keyword [en]
Civic orientation, newly arrived, immigrants
National Category
Social Work International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Social work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-11852ISBN: 978-91-87531-61-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-11852DiVA: diva2:1161519
Conference
Uddevalla Symposium 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industrial Dynamics in Internationalized Regional Economies, 20th Uddevalla Symposium 15-17 June, 2017, Trollhättan, Sweden
Available from: 2017-11-30 Created: 2017-11-30 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Spante, Maria

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