Attitudes of Education Professionals towards Recommendations from the Literature on the Implementation of Multilingualism and Intercultural Education in Primary Schools: The Case of Dutch Mainstream Primary Schools in the Randstad area
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The goal of this research was to distill how education professionals, working in primary schools in the Randstad area, perceive the recommendations from the literature on the implementation of multilingualism and intercultural education in the Dutch mainstream primary education system. Thereby providing recommendations to better align theoretical ideas with their practical implementation. This research made use of a mixed method data collection. It was comprised of a narrative literature review used to find recommendations in the literature on multilingualism and intercultural education. A document analysis of 40 School Plans of which 10 schools in the four largest and ethnically diverse cities in the Netherlands were selected, namely Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht. Also, a survey which was distributed online with its target group being education professionals currently working in the Randstad area in Dutch mainstream primary education. In the literature multiple recommendations were found on multilingualism and intercultural education, these were grouped into different overarching themes. Some of the recommendations aimed at intercultural education were reflected in the School Plans in the form of citizenship education. In the case of multilingualism, only a few recommendations were found in the School Plans. The results from the survey indicate that in general the respondents are positive about the recommendations on multilingualism and intercultural education. Concerning the practical applicability of said recommendations, respondents are more positive about intercultural education and in comparison, less about multilingualism. Respondents see limitations in the implementation of recommendations on intercultural education and multilingualism due to a lack of knowledge on the subject matter, lack of financial resources, heavy workload, and lack of available time. Multiple recommendations are made based on this research. In summary, researchers, schools and policy makers should focus on creating a school context in which there is enough space (e.g. reduced workload, more room in the schedule), financial resources and practical possibilities to implement the recommendations from the literature.