Clearing, claiming and creating spaces: A postmigrant approach for renegotiating diversity in education

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Despite local and global intentions to ensure equal rights for students regardless of their social and ethnic backgrounds, research has amply documented continuous inequality in Danish schools (Horst & Gitz-Johansen, 2010). This inequality is related to an assimilatory school policy and practice, where normal students are expected to have Danish as their mother tongue and students without these language skills are seen from a deficit perspective as someone who needs compensatory teaching (Horst, 2019). The persistent focus on the deficit of the “other” in policy and practice reproduces the hierarchies between students with Danish background and those considered newcomers.
To challenge these hierarchies, we suggest to renegotiate diversity in education from a postmigrant approach (Schramm et al., 2019) in which everyone is considered newcomers, no one has more rights than others, and everyone can learn from each other. The project “Reframing Migration, Diversity and the Arts” (Schramm et al., 2019) draws on experiences from postmigrant theatre and its struggle to reshuffle positions of individuals. The authors identify three ambitions: Clearing, Claiming, and Creating Spaces. Space-clearing aims to overcome binaries and othering ascriptions. Space-claiming aims to negotiate the ambiguities and contradictions that arise along new demarcation-lines. Space-creating aims to initiate negotiations of diversity and produce new coalitions, languages and forms (Schramm et al., 2019, pp. 56-61).
We will apply these ambitions to a school setting to explore how and if clearing, claiming and creating of school spaces can bring about a reshuffling of positions of students. Drawing on Theatre of the oppressed (Boal, 1973), we will suggest a similar form of theatre to renegotiate words, practices and positions and thereby humbly contribute to the empowerment (Freire, 1968) of all groups of students in order to respond to new challenges in times of increased nationalism and polarization in society.

Boal, A. (2019 (1973)): Theatre of the Oppressed. Pluto Press.
Freire, P. (2018 (1968)): Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Bloomsbury Academic.
Horst, C. and Gitz-Johansen, T. (2010): Education of ethnic minority children in Denmark: Monocultural hegemony and counter positions. Intercultural Education, 21(2): 137-151.
Horst, C. (2019): På ulige fod: Etniske minoritetsbørn som et skoleeksempel. [On unequal footing: Ethnic minority children as a school example]. Århus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.
Schramm, M., Moeslund, S. P., & Petersen, A. R. (Eds.) (2019): Reframing Migration, Diversity and the Arts. The Postmigrant Condition. Routledge.
StatusUdgivet - 2021
BegivenhedIALIC 2021 Language, culture and interculturality: Global debates, local challenges - Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Varighed: 22 nov. 202126 nov. 2021
Konferencens nummer: the 21th international conference


KonferenceIALIC 2021 Language, culture and interculturality
Nummerthe 21th international conference
LokationUniversidad de los Andes


  • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning
  • Interkulturalitet, postmigration