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Teachers with so-called Immigrant Background

Research Project «Teacher and Immigrant Background»

A research project on experiences and ways of dealing with difference and belonging

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Teachers are not only challenged to deal with migration-related diversity among their students in an appropriate and inclusive way, some of the teachers may themselves be exposed to social boundary making or confronted with special expectations. Some educational authorities expect teachers with a so-called immigrant background to act as role models for successful careers or to build bridges between schools and immigrant families. However, empirically, only little is known about the experiences of teachers who are categorised as 'with immigrant background', particularly in the Swiss context.

For this reason, IZB is carrying out a research project to investigate the experiences of difference and belonging among teachers with a so-called immigrant background as well as their pedagogical orientations in dealing with difference and belonging among their students.

The gained insights are not only disseminated to the scientific community, but also transferred to practice, firstly into teacher education at PH Zug and secondly – in cooperation with teachers – to schools.

The project has been financially supported by Stiftung Mercator Schweiz.


Mantel, C. (2021). Gesucht: Diversität unter Lehrpersonen. [Wanted: Diversity amongst Teachers]. terra cognita, Schweizer Zeitschrift zu Integration und Migration, 38, 74-75.
Mantel, C. (2021). Teachers with so-​called migration background and the question of recognition: Experiences of fragility and hidden pedagogical potentials. European Educational Research Journal.
Mantel, C. (2020). Being a teacher with a so-​called ‘immigrant background’: challenges of dealing with social boundaries. Intercultural Education, 31(2), 173-189.
Mantel, C. (2018). Lehrpersonen ›mit Migrationshintergrund‹ zwischen pädagogischem Potenzial und prekarisierter Zugehörigkeit. [Teachers with an ‘immigrant background’ between a ped-agogical potential and a precarised belonging]. In S. G. Huber (Ed.), Jahrbuch Schulleitung 2018 (p. 149-162). Neuwied: Wolters Kluwer.
Mantel, C. (2017). Lehrer_in, Migration und Differenz. Fragen der Zugehörigkeit bei Grundschullehrer_innen der zweiten Einwanderungsgeneration in der Schweiz. [Teacher, Migration and Difference. Questions of belonging among primary school teachers of the second im-migrant generation in Switzerland]. Bielefeld: transcript.
Mantel, C. (2017). Frage an die Wissenschaft. Lehrpersonen mit Migrationshintergrund: Eine Chance für Schulen? [Teachers with migration background: a chance for schools?]. Magazin Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, 17(1), 5.
Mantel, C. (2016). Das (verhinderte?) Potenzial von Lehrpersonen “mit Migrationshintergrund”. [The Impeded Potential of Teachers with an Immigrant Background]. journal für schulentwicklung, 20(1), 47-51.
Mantel, C. & Leutwyler, B. (2013).  Lehrpersonen mit Migrationshintergrund: eine kritische Synthese der Literatur. [Teachers with an immigrant background: a critical synthesis of the literature]. Beiträge zur Lehrerbildung, 31(2), 234-247.

Further informations

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Carola Mantel
Head of IZB
+41 41 727 12 91