Breaking the stereotype of the We-group and the Others in Austria: EDITE seminar with Prof. Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger


On 23.01.2017, EDiTE invited Prof. Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger, researcher at the University of Linz, to share her experience on migration and teacher education in Austria. She started her seminar by focusing on demystifying some common beliefs on the „Austrian we”. Who are the high-achievers in Austria and why? Is low achievement a city problem related to migration? Do all migrants have low educational family background? Do all pupils with migrant background are underachievers in Austria? Prof. Herzog-Punzenberger’s presentation showed evidence from a large scale research study that the reality is more nuanced than one might think, questioning common media narratives in Austria and Europe. She also introduced the seven policy actions of MiME (Migration und Mehrsprachigkeit project) that, based on research findings, targeted seven core aspects of migration and education in Austria 1) the diversity of countries and origins 2) the diversity of family languages 3) the diversity of social strata 4) kindergarten and primary school pedagogy 5) segregation 6) selections in educational pathways 7) school achievement and competences. These policy initiatives aimed at breaking the stereotypes of „we and them”, showing the effects of national and organizational structures on pupils with migrant background, and offering alternative solutions for the future.  Prof. Herzog-Punzenberger, as well as EDiTE members, highlighted the importance of teacher education as a crucial platform to bring about change in achieving these goals, and transform the narratives on migration.



Prof. Herzog-Punzenberger in conversation with EDiTE members

Link for MiMe project: