"The Multicultural" : constructions in the curriculum of Norwegian primary schoolteacher education


Publication date



Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for lærerutdanning og internasjonale studier

Document type


Master i flerkulturell og internasjonal utdanning


This thesis examines how a concept, “the multicultural”, is constructed in discourses in the current Norwegian primary schoolteacher education. The focus of this thesis is directed towards one institution, Oslo University College (OUC), towards one primary schoolteacher education programme (years 1-7), and towards one subject, Pedagogy and Pupil Knowledge 1. The empirical work of this study includes five curriculum texts of which four are documents and one is a book. The problem statement aims at understanding how different agents strive to fix the meaning of an important discursive sign. It does so by asking (1) how “the multicultural” is constructed in selected curriculum texts, (2) in what ways there is change; continuity and discontinuity in how the selected curriculum texts’ represents social categories, and from this, asking (3) whether or not there are any challenges. The thesis has developed a visualized methodological structure of Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985, 2001) theory on discourse. The selected texts are analysed using a three-readings strategy. Questioning how culture and related concepts generally are understood, and suggesting possible “new” ways of understanding them, the thesis aims at inspiring alternative ways of understanding “the multicultural”. The analysis reveals that the understanding of “the multicultural” is featured by inconsistency; that it is arbitrarily constructed as different “things”. The analysis also reveals that “the multicultural” generally is constructed as an otherness: However, it is part of the Norwegian society, but not part of the Norwegian identity. Additionally, the thesis demonstrates that “good” intentions might not necessarily lead to “good” results. For example the OUC’s Programme Plan’s focus on recognizing the minority pupil’s background resulting in a strengthened construction of “the multicultural” as the non-Norwegian.


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/1170