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The Euroguidance Network

April 2011

In this edition:

Research project in multicultural guidance

The Committee for Educational Sciences at the Swedish Research Council* in Stockholm has granted a qualitative study of career guidance for youth with immigrant background. The project is called “Guidance between recognition, justice and difference” and is designed for three years.

The project aims at analyzing how career guidance offered in Swedish schools relates to and treats youth with a foreign background. There will be a special focus on how guidance activities handle issues that are specific for this group when it comes to the transition from school to working life or further studies.

Specific questions are:
  • How much room is given to this group’s approach towards their future work and/or studies within the school’s ordinary guidance activities?
  • How well does the guidance practice within the Swedish school system fulfill the requirements of recognition and justice when choices of study and work are made and what impact does ethnical identity and immigration have in this context?
The project has only recently started. In addition to project manager Ph.D. Lecturer Fredrik Hertzberg two more scientists are involved in the project work. All three are co-workers from the Department of Didactic Science and Pedagogy at Stockholm University.

Focus on multicultural guidance

During the last years the concept of multicultural guidance has been established as a term for guidance aimed at improving the possibilities for immigrants to be included in the society. The goal is that counsellors should be aware that the client’s values and notions of the world may differ from their own beliefs.
Fredrik Herzberg
“Basically there are three main orientations within the models of multicultural guidance,” explains Hertzberg. “Some advocate that guidance should focus on general issues that all human beings have in common. Others emphasize the importance of being sensitive to cultural differences. A third group stresses focus on experienced injustice and discrimination.”

From methodology to institutional basis

The project consists of three different studies. The first study will look at the methodology used when guiding a youth with an immigrant background - how does the guidance counsellor relate to the abstractly formulated ideals of understanding, empathy and recognition that are expressed in theoretical models and local goals?

The second study will focus on the interaction between school, youth and parents within guidance conducted at compulsory schools before the transition to secondary school.

The third study will examine the local institutional basis for guidance of young people with immigrant background and how the institutional basis affects the work of guidance practitioners.

The first project results will be ready in approximately two years. The results will be communicated via articles and conferences.

Nina Ahlroos
Euroguidance Sweden

*The Swedish Research Council is an authority within the Ministry of Education and Research. The Committee for Educational Sciences supports the best research as to quality according to national priorities and also the best researchers within the area which is relevant to teacher training and pedagogical activity.