Diversity Group Potsdam
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Winter semester comes to a close, and with it our 2017/2018 lecture series

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Some of the team (and two husbands) enjoying dinner with Amena Amer, the final speaker in the Cultural Diversity, Migration, and Education event series.

This past Tuesday we hosted our last guest speaker in a semester-long event series organized by the PhD students in our group and funded by the Potsdam Graduate School and the Committee on Research and Young Academics. We titled the series “Cultural Diversity, Migration, and Education,” referencing our 2016 conference of the same name and foreshadowing our upcoming CDME 2018 conference this August.

The event series included three engaging talks and one lively panel discussion, all focusing on issues at the intersection of cultural diversity and education.

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Our first speaker, Dr. Sabine Glock, from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, gave a talk about the impact of teachers’ stereotyped expectations on the grading and treatment of students with migration background, based primarily on her own research. Many students were in the audience for this opening event, and a practice-oriented discussion ensued following her presentation.

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In December, 2017 we welcomed Dr. Daniel Faas, from Trinity College Dublin, who focused on broader trends in and approaches to education policy from across the European Union. Dr. Faas’s own research, in the field of sociology of education, focuses on youth identity in relation to migration, religion, and education.

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In January we had the opportunity to host a panel discussion regarding school-community relations in a diverse Germany. The panelists were Ms. Shiva Saber-Fahaty from the Berlin organization Kiezmütter, Dr. Mohini Lokhande from the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, and Ms. Saraya Gomis, who is the Antidiscrimination Commissioner at the Berlin Senate, and a secondary school teacher. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Guido Siegel, who leads the Berlin Working Group on Migration, Diversity, and Antidiscrimination at the Union of Educationa and Research, and is himself a teacher in a welcome class for refugee students. Having diverse perspectives from research, policy, and practice spurred a rich, reflective, and engaging discussion.

Amena Amer photo1We finished the series this week with a thoughtful and thought-provoking talk by Amena Amer, a doctoral candidate in social psychology at LSE in London. Ms. Amer examined how the implementation of the Prevent Strategy in British schools positions Muslim students as objects of suspicion while homogenizing notions of Britishness and turning teachers into informants, many of whom actively resist this role.

We feel honored to have had so many top-notch researchers and practitioners share their time and work with us, and look forward to continuing such an exchange at our conference this summer!

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IAIR in NYC!

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This past week all of us PhD students plus Maja took part in the 10th Biennial Congress of the International Academy of Intercultural Relations (IAIR), held at the College of Staten Island in New York. Just getting to and from Staten Island turned out to be something of an adventure, and a good reminder that figuring out public transportation in a new place is always a great test of intercultural skills. It was fun getting to explore “the forgotten borough,” through a social program that included a Staten Island Yankees baseball game, a tour of Historic Richmond Town and Fort Wadsworth, an afternoon off spent walking the boardwalk and dipping our toes in the Atlantic, and a lovely conference dinner held at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, which was formerly used as housing for retired sailors.

The conference included keynote speeches by Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, with which he advises the UN and other international peacekeeping organizations, and Dr. David Webber, a social psychologist who offered insight into his research into radicalization and terrorism in contexts across the world.

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Maja was the winner of the Early Career Award and gave a lecture highlighting her doctoral research as well as her current projects as a postdoc here in Potsdam. She also co-chaired a symposium titled “Interethnic Contact Experience at Schools – Effects on Psychological Adjustment, Academic Achievement and Intercultural Competence of Culturally Diverse Students,” with Dr. Karen Phalet and Dr. Alaina Brenick, which brought together research from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Alaina will be working with Maja on a research visit in Potsdam starting in just a few weeks, so it was great for all of us to get to catch up with her again before she joins our team for the summer. Miriam took part in the same symposium, presenting one of her dissertation studies titled, “From Tolerance to Understanding: Exploring the Development of Intercultural Competence in Multiethnic Contexts from Early to Late Adolescence,” which was recently published in the Jouranl of Community and Applied Social Psychology. For her symposium contribution, Maja presented a paper called, “Effects of the Cultural Diversity Climate on Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Students’ School Belonging and Adjustment,” which is currently under review.

Sauro, Jana, and Ursula each presented individual papers, all of which are either under review or are in the process of being submitted to journals. Sauro gave his talk within a session focusing broadly on education, presenting a literature review he conducted titled, “Challenging Beliefs Towards Cultural Diversity in Teacher Education: A Synthesis of Training Effects and Methodological Concerns.” Jana and Ursula rounded out the conference with the very last two talks in the final session. Jana presented a paper called, “Feeling Half-half? – Exploring Relational Variation of Turkish Heritage Young Adults’ Cultural Identity Compatibility and Conflict in Austria” and Ursula presented “Who Gets to Be German? A Thematic Discourse Analysis of National Identity in Germany,” both of which are qualitative studies which will act as chapters within their respective dissertations.

In the weekends before and after the conference we all made use of being in New York, visiting friends and exploring the city. It was also fun to see some of the folks we met two years ago at the IAIR conference in Norway and last year at IACCP in Japan. What an amazing opportunity to be able to engage in interesting academic exchanges while making friends all over the world!

 

 

 

 

The Diversity Group is looking to expand!

We were all very happy to hear last week that Linda and Maja’s application for a DFG grant was successful! The grant will provide funding for a longitudinal study on the effects of a culture-specific identity affirmation intervention with diverse adolescents in classrooms across Berlin.

In order to conduct this study, our team is looking for another engaged and engaging PhD student! If you are interested in joining our research group, please contact Linda or Maja at the email addresses below.

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Job Advertisement

The University of Potsdam, College of Human Sciences, Inclusive Education Group, is inviting applications to fill the following position:

Researcher (Pre-Doc) (50%, TVL 13)

We are an international team that focuses on issues of culture and migration for youth development and education. The successful candidate will be expected to work on a DFG-funded longitudinal research project entitled “Short-term and long-term effects of a culture-specific selfaffirmation intervention to promote school adjustment of adolescents of migrant and refugee backgrounds” (official approval of funding expected by March, 2017).

Anticipated start date is May 15, 2017 for up to 3 years.

Responsibilities: Participation in all aspects of research including recruitment of participants, data collection, data analysis, and collaboration on manuscripts and presentations. It is expected that the successful candidate will complete her/his dissertation within the research program of the department.

Requirements: Successful completion of a Masters Degree (or equivalent) in Psychology, Education, or related field. Strong skills in empirical research methods and statistical analyses. Strong writing and speaking skills in English, as our working language is English.

Desired: Knowledge of issues of migration in relation to youth development. Ability to speak and write in Arabic, Turkish or Russian as this will be helpful in working with the target sample, but this is not a requirement.

To Apply: Please send a statement of interest, transcript, degree documents, contact information for references, and CV as a single pdf file to Prof. Linda Juang at juang@uni-potsdam.de or Dr. Maja Schachner at maja.schachner@uni-potsdam.de

Application Deadline is March 30, 2017.

The University of Potsdam is committed to excellence through diversity. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Happy new year from the Diversity in Education and Development group!

With snowstorms from Izmir to Ingolstadt to Indianapolis this week, there’s no question that we’re still smack dab in the middle of winter up here in the Northern Hemisphere. But the days are slowly getting longer, 2016 is behind us, and we’re plowing our way into the new year.

2016 was a tough year for many of us, on many counts, and it has not always been easy to remain optimistic about what is to come. That said, here in the Diversity in Education and Development group we’re looking forward while also taking measure of what’s behind us. With German elections coming up this fall, Trump taking office in the US in less than two weeks, and continued instability the world over, the need for sound but critical research into questions of diversity and inclusion is clearer than ever.

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We are happy to report that multiple members of our group had work published in the past months, including an article in the Journal of Adolescence on the relations between discrimination experiences and emotion regulation among Latino/a and Asian heritage college students, an article in Child Development on how school cultural diversity climate relates to the acculturation orientations and school adjustment of youth of migration background in Germany, and an article in the Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs on the link between teacher beliefs and practices regarding student diversity.

We are also making an effort to bridge the science to practice gap by taking part in a newly developed University of Potsdam program called Campusschulen (campus schools), for which Maja, Linda and Sauro are working with a highly culturally and socioeconomically diverse secondary school in Berlin. Maja and Linda are helping strategize equity conscious ways to improve contact between school personnel and families, while Sauro is conducting classroom observations regarding teachers’ diversity beliefs in practice.

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Moreover, recent and upcoming workshops and talks have given us an opportunity to connect with students and practitioners from other cities and fields. For instance, Linda gave a talk on “Inclusion, Migration, and Education” at the University of Magdeburg as part of a speaker series on Topics of Inclusion. She also gave a talk on “Who are the Students at the University of Potsdam?” at the graduating ceremony for the International Teaching Professionals program, in which Sauro participated (see the picture above). Maja has given multiple talks and workshops focusing on cultural diversity in education and the acculturation of adolescents of immigrant and refugee background for the Ministry of Education Baden-Württemberg, the Federal Conference of Family Counselors and others. Ursula will give a guest lecture about banal nationalism and institutional discrimination in the Humboldt University Berlin Master’s course titled “The Other(‘s) City: living in Berlin as a post-migrant city,” which is open to both regularly enrolled students and newly arrived refugee students. Miriam had the opportunity to return to the University of Jena, one of her alma maters, to give an intensive course on cultural diversity to psychology Master’s students. Jana had a busy fall and winter with a number of workshops and events sponsored by the Stiftung der deutschen Wirtshaft (Foundation of German Business), focusing on a range of topics related to the promotion of a multicultural society.

Finally, we’re all in the midst of analyses and writing for various papers and projects, and are excited to see what 2017 has in store.

Maja takes part in PhD defense at University of Leuven in Belgium

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Maja (far right in the photo above) was invited to be a jury member on the PhD defense of Canan Coskan (main supervisor: Prof. Karen Phalet), in the Department of Social and Cultural Psychology, at the University of Leuven in Belgium this past fall. It was very exciting being “on the other side” of a defense for the first time, and a great experience to get accustomed with the Belgian way of having a defense (and getting to wear a nice gown 🙂 ). It was also a great opportunity to spend more time with and get to know the team of the Department of Social and Cultural Psychology.

Aside from acting as a jury member, Maja also gave a talk on one of her most recent studies and met with eight PhD students in the department to consult with them over their PhD projects. It was also great to talk with Karen Phalet and Colette van Laar, both professors in the department. With their focus on dealing with cultural diversity in schools, they are looking into very similar questions as our team in Potsdam, and there will surely be more opportunities to work together in the future.

As a next step, Maja and Karen organized a symposium “Interethnic Contact Experiences at School – Effects on Psychological Adjustment, Academic Achievement and Intercultural Competence of Culturally Diverse Students”  together for the upcoming conference of the International Academy of Intercultural Research to take place in New York in July 2017. Researchers from both teams will present and Kay Deaux, from the City University New York, will act as a discussant. So all in all, the research visit was a very fruitful experience and we are looking forward to more collaborations with the team of Social and Cultural Psychology in Leuven.

Intercultural Education at the Crossroads

Two members of the Diversity in Education and Development team (Ursula and Sauro) attended the Mobilities, Transitions, Transformations – Intercultural Education at the Crossroads International Conference held 5-9 September at the Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. The conference was a key activity for IAIE (International Association for Intercultural Education), as the biggest of its annual conferences. Ursula and Sauro presented individual papers.

Two keynote speakers, Paul Gorski and Audrey Osler, offered particularly inspiring and fascinating suggestions on how to foster intercultural education and equity in schools. Chaired by James Banks, a special session brought experts from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the U.S., providing interesting insights into global migration, structural inclusion, and citizenship education across the world. The conference included practical workshops on numerous topics such as cooperative learning (led by Yael Sharan) and ‘talking to racists’ (led by Maja Nenadovic).

We look forward to the next IAIE conference (June 2017) that will be hosted by the Université Catholique de l´Ouest (Catholic University of the West) in Angers, France. For more pictures and the full conference programme, check out the website of the IAIE 2016 or the Facebook webpage of the event. All pictures included in this post (apart from the first one with Sauro, James Banks, and two fellow conference attendees) were taken by the official conference photographer and can be accessed on the IAIE site.

Back from Japan – IACCP summer school and conference

The Diversity in Education and Development team (sadly minus Linda!) had the amazing opportunity to spend time in Japan this summer, attending the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology bi-annual conference and PhD student summer school. From July 26th – 30th three of us (Miriam, Jana, and Ursula) pushed through our jetlag and had a great … Continue reading