NAFOL profile: Tonje Myrebøe

Tonje Myrebøe. fotoTeachers’ experiences and strategies dealing with students’ use of disparaging and prejudiced expressions

I am a general teacher and have worked for many years in elementary school. I also have a master’s degree in Multicultural and International Education.

Through interviews with teachers working in lower or upper secondary school, I investigate teachers’ experiences with and understandings of students’ use of disparaging and prejudiced expressions, and their pedagogical strategies when dealing with these situations. In one of my articles, I explore and discuss the situations where teachers describe stereotype and prejudiced expressions as intertwined in students’ social practices. Further, I aim to highlight the complexity and the fluent boundaries of this phenomenon, as experienced by the teachers. Two other articles investigate how the teachers reflect and negotiate on how they want to present themselves in dealing with students’ use of disparaging and prejudiced expressions, in addition to the pedagogical strategies they apply and how these strategies can be understood in light of policy documents and official guidelines.

Increased knowledge about the teacher role in situations where there is need for dealing with these phenomena, can provide a stronger basis and new perspectives for expanding education professionals’ knowledge and competencies in terms of prevention of group based prejudice in schools.

As a doctoral candidate it has been a very positive experience to be part of a larger community of research and fellowship within educational research. In addition to being part of a bigger network, it has also contributed to a broader academic development and been an opportunity for sharing my own research. Not least, I appreciate the opportunity to attend international conferences with the economic support of NAFOL.