Children with minority background

One of the focuses in the Skoleklar project will be on children with minority background who are in a transition from kindergarten to school. There can be many challenges for children with a minority background in Norway. For several years Hildegunn Fandrem has researched and given courses in relation to this issue. However, this is her first time participating in a research project focusing on such young children.

Why is it important to have a special focus on children with minority background in the Skoleklar project?
- It is important because we know that these children may have more challenges compared to other children in kindergarten and school. These challenges can be an extra burden in terms of transitions, such as the transition between kindergarten and school. It is important to learn about any challenges as early as possible in order to place good intervention/compensatory measures. Some of the challenges these children have, can be an obstacle for further learning, and it is therefore important with early intervention, says Fandrem.

Is there a lot of research in Norway related to young children with minority background?
- No. Previously, it has not been much focus on this group, but it seems to be a growing interest in this subject in other research areas. This confirms that it is an important and relevant topic to research, and that it will become a very important issue in the future.

What does the research say in terms of achievements in school for this group?
- The school achivements of children with minority background is slightly worse compared to other children. However, it is important to emphasize that there is considerable variation in this group. This means that there are some children from minority backgrounds who do very well at school, while there are a number of children who are struggling. Therefore, they show poorer results than the average. It is important to identify and help children from minority groups who need extra support, emphasizes Fandrem.