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Krisztina Bereczky and Balázs József Fejes: An Investigation of Teachers’ Views and Experience Related to a Desegregation Measure

This study presents findings from research involving educators most affected by a desegregation action, specifically (1) their experience with both the implementation of the action itself and its effects and (2) aspects of their thinking that are hypothesized to be closely related to their view of the desegregation measure and its implementation. In-depth interviews were conducted with 17 teachers. Six of them had been teaching in schools that were closed as part of the desegregation measures while the others were working in receiving institutions. The findings reveal that many of the participants lack a clear understanding of how segregation lessens the quality of education and that they therefore cannot be expected to support integration processes. Teachers’ views were found to be essentially determined by whether they had ever taught classes with a high proportion of disadvantaged students. According to the interview data, problems associated with disadvantaged students from segregated schools catching up with their majority peers’ performance manifested most strongly in the area of assessment. The teachers’ activity in remedial classes focused on declarative knowledge, which is presumably related to educators’ difficulties in assessing procedural knowledge. Teachers within several learning communities experienced a further problem as they attempted to promote acceptance among majority pupils of the divergent requirements their school was placing on their peers from segregated schools. These problems are directly related to teachers’ lack of knowledge of the mechanisms of segregation that impact on school performance.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 110. Number 4. 329-354. (2010)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Bereczky Krisztina, Educatio Társadalmi Szolgáltató Nonprofit Kft., Dél-Alföldi Régiós Kapcsolati Pont, H–6720 Szeged, Dózsa utca 2. Fejes József Balázs, SZTE, Neveléstudományi Intézet, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia