07 SES 05 A, Intercultural Encounters in Education
In the last 10-15 years, there have been migratory movements in a lot of countries (especially in those with very positive development´s rates). These movements have been so important that in our country, Spain, the population has increased from 40.0049.708 habitants in 2000 (INE, 2010) to 46.464.053 in 2014 (actualized data from 01/07/2014). Of those, 4.538.503 are migrants (either first or second generation) (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, 2014). Because of this situation we now find ourselves in a new social world exponentially more heterogeneous to the point where “the intercultural phenomena exceeds the educational environment, so the educational action has to be inserted in the more ample context of the social media. Education can play a very important role in order to achieve the configuration of a democratic coexistence in a society more and more plural and complex” (Valle, Baelo Álvarez, & Arias Gago, 2013).
In terms of the intercultural education we can say that it consists on “training intercultural competent citizens that can interact with “others”, that accept other perceptions of the world, that intercede between different perspectives and that are conscious of their own assessments on diversity (Byram, Nichols, & Stevens, 2001)
One of the problems of that heterogeneity is that we find ourselves with youngsters with problems in terms of the language barrier and social integration which finally result on higher rates in early leaving school, grade retention and absenteeism amongst this social group.
This is why the INTO project (Intercultural Mentoring tools to support migrant integration at school), a Comenius Multilateral Project (Ref. 540440-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-COMENIUS-CMP) was created, leaded by Oxfam Italia, in collaboration with the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), University of Salamanca (Spain), CARDET (Cyprus) and University of Lodz (Poland).
Inside the framework of the intercultural education and with the intention of helping migrant students to improve both their academic performance and their social integration, we are trying to insert the methodology of peer tutoring, defined as “a cooperative learning method based on the creation of pairs of students, establishing an asymmetric relationship between both (one of them plays the role of the mentor and the other is the mentee), with a known, shared and common objective (i.e: the teaching-learning process of a subject), that takes place as a consequence of the relationship between both students, always planned by the teacher” (Duran & Vidal, 2004).
This way, our main target group will be migrant students, pre- teenagers and teenagers, in their most difficult moment as students in our educational system, which would be either the change from Primary to Secondary Education or from the first to the second stage of Secondary Education.
During our research and the pilot programme we are aiming to, among others other things:
- Achieve: a realistic view of the educational system of the countries involved and the situation of migrant students in it.
- Assess the usefulness of mentoring among peers in Spain, paying special attention to the use of this methodology in the Compulsory Education.
- Improve the academic performance of migrant students because of this methodology.
- Encourage greater involvement of this group of students in the classroom environment and the center, thereby achieving a better social integration.
- Achieve a decrease in the absenteeism, early leaving school and grade retention rates.
- Assess the way “mentor” students have faced the task and if their knowledge have improved in some way as a consequence of the use of this methodology.
- Improve the future chances for foreign students.
Byram, M., Nichols, A., & Stevens, D. (2001). Developing intercultural competence in practice. Clevedon, England; Buffalo, N.Y.: Multilingual Matters. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=90956 Campbell, D. T., Stanley, J. C., & Gage, N. L. (1966). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Chicago, Ill.: R. McNally. Duran, D., & Vidal, V. (2004). Tutoría entre iguales: de la teoría a la práctica : un método de aprendizaje cooperativo para la diversidad en secundaria. Barcelona: Graó. Hernández Sampieri, R, M., C. P. (2008). El matrimonio cuantitativo-cualitativo: el paradigma mixto. Presented at the Sexto Congreso de Investigación en Sexología, Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. INE, I. N. de E. (2010, October 7). Proyección de la Población de España a Corto Plazo 2010–2020. Instituto Nacional de Estadística. (2014). Cifras de Población a 1 de julio de 2014 Estadística de Migraciones. Primer semestre de 2014 (p. 16). INE. Retrieved from http://www.ine.es/prensa/np884.pdf Valle, R. E., Baelo Álvarez, R., & Arias Gago, A. R. (2013). Respuesta educativa a la población inmigrante: la educación intercultural. [León: Universidad de León, Área de Publicaciones.
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