The main topics of current education research are the following issues: the transition of teaching some subjects in Estonian in currently Russian operating schools and the attitudes related to that; concerns and expectations of target groups; multiculturalism in school and the communication between schools operating in different languages; multicultural History and Civic Studies teaching; and a language command of the minorities.
The transition of teaching some subjects in Estonian in currently Russian operating schools is a topic affecting many. The study looked at the concerns and expectations of target groups in order to identify the main issues of the process and its possible solutions.
Teachers’ additional training is of paramount importance for the implementation of bilingual education model, the introduction of multicultural curriculum and the development of History and Civic Studies teaching. The approach to their training and developing their aptitude should be systematic, thorough and well planned because the effectiveness of integration process in Estonia will greatly depend on them.
In addition to that, it is important to have professionally written learning materials, which take into consideration all the peculiarities of the target groups, in order to foster integration and mutual understanding.
“Joint activities help to develop mutual understanding between the young from different ethnic backgrounds.” – Triin Vihalemm
The students have more positive attitude towards the introduction of teaching some subjects in Estonian than teachers. Teachers with good ideas about promoting communication between students need more involvement, which could also provide valuable information for the implementation of different policies.
The current research also clearly shows that it is absolutely necessary to update curricula in order to support integration. The curricula in use do not, for example, meet the need to introduce multicultural topics or pay attention to the education of active citizens or teaching empathy.
The research discovered several important aspects to consider for further developments. In addition, it became apparent that numerous other key issues relevant to integration such as hidden curriculum or the connections between language command, citizenship and state identity needed further research and analysis.