Reference : ‘Curriculizing’ Multilingualism? Language Curricula and the Construction of Identity...
Scientific Presentations in Universities or Research Centers : Scientific presentation in universities or research centers
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
Educational Sciences
‘Curriculizing’ Multilingualism? Language Curricula and the Construction of Identity in Multilingual Societies: the example of Luxembourg
Sattler, Sabrina mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing (LUCET) >]
IAACS 2018, 6th World Curriculum Studies Conference
The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
[en] Curriculum Studies ; Curriculum History ; Langauge Education
[en] In addition to its historically and contextually determined multilingualism, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is home to numerous immigrant languages, and today almost 48% of the population are foreigners (STATEC, 2018). Beside the three official languages, French, German and Luxembourgish, other languages are used in everyday contexts. Educational policy thus has to integrate pupils of non-Luxembourg origin into the inherently trilingual school system. The 2009 reform of primary education is accordingly to be understood, among other things, as an educational policy response to the linguistic diversification of society. One of its goals was to respond more forcefully to the didactic and pedagogic challenges of this extremely heterogeneous and multilingual social composition. The existing 1912 law governing primary education was replaced, and the organisation of teaching and the curriculum were adapted.

In terms of cultural history, this goes hand in hand with an educationalization of social problems (Smeyers & Depaepe, 2008), that is to say, the idea, paradigmatic for the modern age, that concrete social challenges are delegated so that they fall within the remit of education (see ibid., 2). In this process it is the curriculum that serves as the core of ideas of intervention. The curriculum, as a road map for a strategy of national and supranational education policy and as a pedagogic reaction to, or intervention in, social and historical change, is thus ascribed a role in constructing identity. In this connection the curriculum, as an instrument of socialisation, cannot be limited merely to directives for teaching. By definition, the curriculum has a hidden agenda, since it meshes with specific, usually also provisional, conceptions of a society.
Taking this definition as its starting-point, the paper works with a broad concept of curriculum, on the basis of which school programmes represent the universal attempt at social engineering. Following from this idea, the curriculum becomes a ‘cultural construction of the child and the future citizen’ (Tröhler, 2014, p. 60). This cultural construction becomes evident when one realizes that meaning is produced through historical processes that create common sense and which are stabilized through certain social or cultural practices (see Popkewitz, 2011, p. 164; see also Popkewitz, 2008). Such distinct practices and cultural connotations are in Luxembourg specifically linked to the use of language.
In the light of these reflections, the paper tackles the central question, to what extent multilingualism and, with it, distinct conceptions of identity in Luxembourg are ‘curriculized’. Of interest here is the historical question, which ideas about a constructed linguistic identity were dominant before and after the primary education reform of 2009 and what the direction of travel is. Here I introduce the concept, first formulated at the beginning of the 20th century, of a Luxembourgian Mischkultur (mixed culture: Weber, 1909) and discuss the extent to which this idea conflicts with contemporary tendencies in educational planning. The paper will show that Luxembourg, as a kind of laboratory because of developing processes of globalisation and migration, is relevant to other multilingual contexts in general and curricular development in particular.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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