The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, comprising the Project Leader, Co-Leader, and MAGLU Study Advisor, will monitor and evaluate the progress of the project; administer the schedule and budget; oversee the production, quality, and distribution of deliverables/dissemination; secure the achievement of project objectives and outcomes; organise courses, activities, and events; coordinate project teams; and regularly consult with stakeholders and partners to make necessary project amendments should any risks or conflicts materialise. Though this committee will be in regular communication, they will also meet at least twice per month for more concentrated planning and review sessions.

VOICES is led by Project Manager Natallia B. Hanssen, Professor in Special Needs Education at Nord University. Her research areas include minority education, inclusive education, special needs education, psychosocial learning challenges, and behavioural and relationship impairments. She has considerable management and project experience as leader of the Research Group for Special Needs Education, as contributor to the Diku-funded CANOPY Project, and as sub-project manager for both the Discovering Youth Perspectives through Activism and Leadership project (NCM) and the Centre for Research on Special Needs Education and Inclusive Practice project (NFR).

Mariya Riekkinen, from Åbo Akademi University in Finland, will serve as the Co-Leader and joins the FLU Faculty at Nord University when this project is implemented. Dr. Riekkinen specialises in international minority rights law, migrant education, and youth empowerment, and graduated from a special vocational education programme in teacher IC from the University of Turku. She has a history of successful leadership on a range of projects commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers and by NordPlus.

The Practice Team

The Practice Team will assemble representatives from local workplaces, community organisations, and TE programmes who will all help identify local IC needs and gaps, co-design the IC assessment tool and resources, and contribute to additional project operations in their own area of relevance (each listed below).

As workplace partners, Principal Even Ågnes and two teachers (TBA) from Bankgata skole, Principal Rudi Johnsen and two teachers (TBA) from Ronvik skole, and Principal Ole Hatlebrekke and two teachers (TBA) from Bodø voksenopplæring will additionally assist with the IC course design and delivery, closely supervise student practicum, and test the evaluation tool.

Furthermore, superintendent Tore Tverbakk and advisor Tone Dising from Grunnskolekontoret i Bodø will participate in planning and advisory meetings.

As community partners, leader Tatiana Cruickshank from the NGO Norsk-Russisk forening i Bodø, and Lill-Eva T. Hjerde, head of the Refugee Centre in Bodø, will also assist with connecting the project to minority language pupils and their parents, participate in IC course planning and implementation, deliver guest lectures, and organise TE student visits to the centre as part of their training.

TE students from Nord University will not only test the new IC course and assessment tool, they will also produce materials for the IC resource library.

The International Advisory Board

The International Advisory Board is composed of cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary experts who are tasked with providing outsider guidance on the project – feedback on course design, advice on conflicts or ethical concerns, reviews of dissemination drafts, and responses to other uncertainties that arise throughout the project period. They will meet with the Steering Committee twice per year (in-person and online) and will also assist with the recruitment of further experts as the project progresses.

Board members will include Antoinette Gagné and Emmanuelle Le Pichon-Vorstman from the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Planning at the University of Toronto; Emmanuel Acquah, from the Department of Education & Welfare Studies at Åbo Akademi University; Liubov Berezina, from the Turku Institute of Professional Education and manager of VALMA introductory education for new immigrants (previously involved with the refugee reception centre and migrant youth support in Finnish primary schools); and Yulia Reyngold, municipal consultant with INFOTORI counselling and informational services for immigrants in Turku.

Together this group specialises in diversity issues in education, educational rights for linguistic minorities, and IC-TE.

The Research Team

The Research Team will provide regular guidance and support on research contexts, methods, data, and publications throughout the project period. The team calls together Marina Prilutskaya, Ruta Andreassen and TE students from Nord University.

Marina Prilutskaya is a Associate Professor specialising in bilingual/multilingual education, IC, and translanguaging practices.

Ruta Zabityte Andreassen is a university lecturer in pedagogics at Nord University.

TE students will also be given the opportunity to join the Research Team and to pursue master’s thesis topics relevant to the project, under the supervision of VOICES project members.