Teaching in a Culturally Diverse Context

By: Caterina Mamprin  

In Quebec (Canada), children who do not speak the language of instruction, French, must enter the school system through reception classes. In those classes, they emphasize French learning so students can integrate the regular curriculum as quickly as possible. From the 2015-2016 school year, the number of reception classes has increased rapidly in the Greater Montreal area due to the significant influx of Syrian refugee students. While the environment may have an influence on teachers' well-being at work (Price and McCallum, 2015), there is little research on reception classes. However, children attending these classes have special needs related to their migration experience in which teachers do not always feel qualified and may experience anxiety (McNeely et al., 2017). In this context we aim better understand how the particular environment of reception classes can influence teachers’ wellbeing at work. The data presented in this study were collected from January to June 2018 in a discussion group conducted in a high school of the Greater Montreal. Eight teachers participated in the eight sessions of this activity. The data were also collected through semi-structured interviews with the participants before and after the eight meetings. The questions were formulated according to Dagenais-Desmarais' (2010) concept of psychological well-being at work. The results highlight the challenges and the day-to-day realities experienced by teachers, and also how these can affect their well-being at work. They draw attention to the systemic factors influencing the integration of newcomer students at school.

Education, Teachers' Wellbeing, Diversity, Immigration
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Caterina Mamprin

Ph.D. Candidate, Psychopedagogy, University of Montreal, Canada