Social Competence as An Educational Goal: The Role of The Ethnic Composition and The Urban Environment of The School

Nov. 25, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 8, November 2008, P. 2118-2131

This article concerns the relationship between social–educational goals and the school context. The authors used a questionnaire to map the educational goals of teachers in pre-vocational education in the field of social competence, and investigated whether these goals were related to the percentage of students from ethnic-minority groups and to the urban environment of the school.
The results show that all teachers, regardless of the school context, value promoting the social development of their students as an educational goal.

The authors did not find a relationship between the context the teachers work in and the social-competence goals they aspire to in their subject. However, teachers working in a more complex school environment, in terms of both the ethnic heterogeneity of the student population and the urban environment of the school, did consider a number of social-competence goals to be less attainable for their students. The results are discussed in the light of research on the competences young people need to participate in a multi-cultural society and the implications for teachers and teaching.

Updated: Jan. 21, 2009