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Politics of belonging: Promoting children’s inclusion in educational settings across borders

How do the politics of belonging emerge in the intersection between the macro-level politics and the daily lives of educators, other professionals, children, and parents in different educational settings?

Children playing together.

This cross-cultural and multidisciplinary research project aims to promote children’s inclusion in educational settings in Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. This project promotes cross-over collaboration with educators, other professionals, children, and parents in early education settings and primary schools. The main research question is: "How do the politics of belonging emerge in the intersection between the macro-level politics and the daily lives of educators, other professionals, children, and parents in different educational settings?

How to prevent children’s exclusion?

The rationale of the project lies in the societal changes confronted by many European countries. Due to the increasing immigration, globalization, and pluralism, educators, other professionals, children, and families represent diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and social backgrounds as well as different value preferences. The question of whether children experience being included or excluded has become more topical than ever, and how to prevent children’s exclusion and enhancing their belonging have become major policy agendas worldwide. Despite the growing interest in preventing children’s exclusion and enhancing their belonging, we know too little about how belonging is realized at grass root level in children’s, parents’, and educators’ daily lives (Johansson, 2017). Nor do we know how belonging is articulated in educational policies and embodied in educational practices. Moreover, there is a need to develop practical tools through which to promote children’s belonging. The proposed project aims to respond to those needs by addressing the politics of belonging at multiple levels.

Want to learn more about the project? Click here.

Children in a kindergarten.