A Case Study of English-Speaking Native-Born German Public School Educators’ Experiences With Refugee and Immigrant Students
Document Type Article
Teachers worldwide are adapting to meet educational needs caused by increased immigration. Germany has many immigrant students and ranks high in international education. This case study investigated experiences of English-speaking native-born German educators in Germany’s public primary schools when responding to refugee and immigrant students. Experiences when responding means how educators interact with immigrant students in school settings and perceive their own preparation and abilities to create desired outcomes using culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP). Bandura’s (1977) social cognitive theory explains how teachers use their experiences to identify problems, and then seek instruction or learn on their own to better implement CRP, based on what they perceive is relevant. The central research question asked what are the experiences of English-speaking native-born German educators’ in Germany’s public primary schools when responding to refugee and immigrant students. German educators were studied at Grundschulen, public schools for grades 1 through 4, and one Gesamtschule for grade 5, in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and Hessen. Data came from 13 educators via focus groups, in-depth interviews, and direct observations made at the school. Data analysis used a holistic approach to evaluate the background conditions and describe the case, reading and memoing provided ideas and themes, and open coding assisted in the categorical aggregation to organize themes. The study found that English-speaking native-born German educators’ in Germany’s public schools (a) value immigrant and refugee students, (b) do not often have or rely upon multicultural training, (c) use specific teaching methods for immigrant and refugee students, (d) experience many issues with immigrant and refugee students’ parents, (e) balance open-mindedness with clear expectations for integration.