Fighting covert discrimination by concept learning. A study of the pedagogical value of one Pestalozzi training resource in Norway.

  • Inger Langseth NTNU, Program for lærerutdanning
Keywords: Discrimination, EDC/HRE, Pestalozzi, concept learning, collaborative learning, English, foreign language education, NOU 2015, 2 Å høre til,


This article discusses approaches to teaching democratic citizenship in English and foreign language education (FLE) in Norway. The article is based on a training resource developed within the Council of Europe Pestalozzi programme (Huber & Mompoint-Gaillard, 2011; Huber, 2012). The aim of the training resource is to develop an understanding of how to teach covert discrimination. The objective is to understand to what extent conceptual understanding and collaborative learning can empower students’ democratic citizenship and contribute to fighting discrimination, bullying violence, racism, extremism, xenophobia and intolerance in society. Qualitative data was gathered during one seminar for ten teacher students held at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science in November 2013. The case study shows that the Pestalozzi approach to Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education has the potential to deepen Norwegian teacher students’ understanding of covert discrimination and inspire them to include democratic citizenship in their foreign language teaching. One important result is that concept learning, in combination with collaborative learning, strengthens the awareness of covert discrimination and prepares the ground for fighting covert discrimination in the foreign language classroom.

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