NAFOL profile: Julia Melnikova
Migrant parents’ encounter with norwegian high school
I am a teacher and teacher educator and hold a master’s degree in cultural encounters from Volda University College. In my master’s thesis, I looked at how the Norwegian Travellers negotiate their identity in modern Norway, including at school. In my doctoral project I continue to study identity work and cultural encounters with a focus on practices associated with parent involvement at high school.
I investigate the construction of participants’ roles in a power perspective via three school case studies. Interviews with students, teachers and school leaders combined with observation and document analysis give me insight into the complexities and contradictions of the school’s practice. The Norwegian school is expected to give place to cultural development and enhance equity and diversity. As schools work towards these goals, the parents can be seen both as supporters and as a power that should be dampened to make room for the students’ individual identity development. Awareness of these contradictions and complexity can make the school more equitable.
NAFOL has given me opportunities to both expand my research network and research horizons, receive invaluable practical advice, and to share good and bad experiences with other candidates and mentors that care.