Adoption, migration and communication
The multicultural Norway is a reality that concerns the special education discipline. The research group’s focus will be immigrants and children and adolescents adopted from abroad who have a special need for adapted education in the family, in kindergarten and in school.
In Norway today, there are currently immigrants from over 200 different countries, and in Oslo approximately 40 per cent of pupils in primary and lower secondary schools have a minority language background. A special form of immigration is adoption to Norway, normally from countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. This type of adoption started at the end of the 1960s, and today there are approximately 20,000 children and adolescents in Norway who were adopted from abroad. Although there has been a decline in intercountry adoptions in recent years, there are now more children with special needs. In order to meet the challenges in these groups, expertise is needed in areas such as communication and language development, learning and social development, identity and ethnicity.
Communication is important in all interpersonal and educational activities, and brings particular challenges when crossing linguistic and cultural boundaries. The research group is concerned with communication in various contexts, especially intercultural communication and teacher-pupil dialogues (child-teacher dialogues). Communication between teacher and pupil is an important part of school activity, and the quality of this communication is vital to the quality of pupil-teacher relations, the actual education quality and the evaluation of the learning.