07 SES 06 B, Doing Research on Interculturality and Social Justice in Education
Intercultural education aims to take advantage of differences and similarities through a pedagogical project built on the multicultural environment (Agostinetto, 2016). The goal is to ‘assess the intercultural dimension as the objective of specific and transversal projects, and, simultaneously, the intercultural education as the way in which they should be developed and implemented’ (Milan & Bugno, 2014).
That is particularly true at the school level.
In fact, schools are preferential places to make inclusion real, since they are the setting where a lot of differences come together: as Loiodice (2015) states, schools are ‘a 'natural' laboratory of meeting/comparison with diversity. It is also the place where people actively develop, enhance and mobilize competencies to deal with differences at various and interdependent levels: in effect, schools are evolving and complex systems reverberating the characteristics of society. Many relationships cross its physical and social space: between teachers and students, between teachers and teachers, including school principals, teachers and non-teaching staff, teachers and families, and not to forget, the crucial relationship with the territory, services, and various external consultants.
Furthermore, ‘in comparison to children from high socioeconomic and majority ethnic/cultural backgrounds, the academic success of migrant children depends more on the quality of schools attended’ (Severiens, 2014). Thus, cultural diversity requires formal education to enhance its sensitivity in order to promote inclusion, well-being, and widespread school effectiveness and achievement: among the competences schools are in charge of, one of the priorities is to integrate their offer with the resources coming from the community. Schools must be aware of being embedded in the cultural, social and economic local environment: the implementation of a systemic network in which actors contribute to succeed the educational process is a key aspect to make education significant for all and to raise its quality (Berger Sacramento, 2015). In other words, in order to flourish also its intercultural project, schools are designated to become a link between the informal and the non-formal education. This could be translated, for instance, in parents’ involvement and participation in scholastic activities, in collaboration with local civic or service groups to improve afterschool programs, and in companies’ engagement for internships.
Aiming to identify the benefits of networking strategies towards interculturality, this study was conducted within the Naos project: it is an E+ project in the field of education and, in particular, its central topic is the ‘professional capacity of teachers to deal with diversity related to migration in all its different forms. Professional capacity includes innovative forms of cooperation between educational professionals and other professionals dealing with children’ (NAOS, 2015).
In particular, this paper refers to a study visit occurred in November 2016 in Porto at Cerco’s Cluster Schools.
Agostinetto, L. (2016) Oltre il velo: l’intercultura che fa scuola [Beyond the veil: making school with interculturality]. In Studium Educationis, anno XVII, n. 1 febbraio 2016, 71-86. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia,
Berger Sacramento R. (2015), Migrant education and community inclusion, in < http://www.sirius-migrationeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/SIRIUS-CommunityInclusion-FINAL.pdf>
Council of Europe (2009). Diversity and inclusion: challenges for teacher education. Final conference of the Council of Europe project “Policies and Practices for Teaching Sociocultural Diversity”. (Oslo, Norway, October 2009)
Loiodice I. (2015). Teaching cross-culture. The pedagogy of the dialogue beyond ethnic groups. Pedagogia oggi, 2, 94-102.
Milan G., Bugno L. (2014). Italy and France and the reception of foreign students: a comparison. Libro de Actas del II Congreso Internacional de Ciencias de la Educación y del Desarrollo, p. 430.
NAOS (2014) Professional capacity dealing with diversity, in
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