Attitudes of Primary Education Students toward Intercultural and Bilingual Education in Primary Schools

In this chapter, we present findings from a study of primary school students’ attitudes toward intercultural and bilingual education. Today’s social issue is interculturality, which can be described as an ethical-political project aimed at resolving problems of coexistence in multi-ethnic societies. As a result, intercultural education provides both an incentive and a justification for educational paradigm shifts. Bilingual education and a highly trained primary school teacher are essential components of an intercultural education programme. Three different aspects of the research issue were investigated. The students’ perspectives on the applicability of intercultural and bilingual education are the first. Second, the benefits and drawbacks of bilingual and intercultural schooling. Finally, bilingual primary schools should have experience of intercultural and bilingual education. According to the findings, future primary school teachers believe that having a clear understanding of intercultural and bilingual education is essential, and that this type of education is the most suitable and useful for their students. Minority children should learn a foreign language. Furthermore, the findings indicate that primary school students recognise the benefits of intercultural and bilingual education, including the opportunity to speak several languages and have multi- and intercultural interactions. Half of the prospective teachers who took part in the study did not see any drawbacks of intercultural and bilingual education. Others, on the other hand, see extra instructor responsibilities and possible student learning difficulties as potential drawbacks.

Author (s) Details

Dr. Vlasta Hus
Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia.

Polona Jančič Hegediš
Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia.

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