20 SES 06 JS, Joint Session
Joint Paper/Poster Session NW 07 and NW 20
The main goal of this proposal is to highlight innovative practices in what concerns intercultural education in schools’ clusters from Porto Metropolitan Area (PMA), in Portugal. For the past decade, Portugal’s school network is organized under “clusters”. Each cluster contains schools that may offer all education levels: from pre-school to secondary education; schools inside a cluster have similar pedagogical pathways, are involved in the same projects and have the same administration bodies. Each cluster is developing its main activity under an “Educational Project”, a reference document in which are included contextualized educational priorities and working as a guide to inform all educational practices during four years.
“Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?” Ecer 2018 Conference Theme, is an important subject to discuss giving the increase of mobilities and migration in European contemporary society. The educational field, one of the most challenged by these questions, asks for the strategic discussion of policies and practices that promote the integration of fragile communities characterized by multiple differences and diversities that can origin inequalities (Silva, 2016). At the same time we intend to contribute to the discussion in the network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments, inside the research fields of “1. Intercultural Education and Issues of Inclusion” and “3. Cross Cultural Research and Intercultural learning”, by discussing the way that schools’ and its professionals promote “intercultural discourses and the role of inclusive intercultural education in promoting both the local identities of groups” (Network goals).
The organization of western schools is targeted to a mass culture and the discussion about multiculturalism arises however this discussion enters in the educational system by talking about the school performance of children with minority background (Dietz, 2003). Although school constitutes a multicultural context comprising a heterogeneous community in which recognizes a positive potential that can emerge by the interaction with different others (Ribeiro, 2014) it is, at the same time, recognized as a space where young people experience exclusion (Ribeiro, 2014) and a sense of strangeness (Silva, 2013). The interculturality is a less expressed reality that requires availability and inter-knowledge. There are ways of symbolic violence (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1970) that are practiced through the curriculum or through the ways of school practices, with implicit rules that can’t be accessed and understandable for all the school population, namely to those in disadvantaged situations. However, all political guidelines concerning education in Portugal points out to the recognition and valorization of diversity as an opportunity and as an important source of learning (Education General Direction, 2016).
Do the schools have these concerns and follow these guidelines? Can we see concerns and attention to the question of intercultural and minority communities? What are schools doing to improve the integration of these communities? This is what we aim to discuss in this poster and explore the meaning of innovative practices. Professional practices besides the ones that are considered “traditional” have received attention, especially those that help transform the school into a professional learning community (Vieluf et al, 2012). The use of word Innovation in discussions about schools, curriculum, teaching practices and political discussions has become widespread (Williamson & Payton, 2009). We use the term innovative practices, so we can define and understand practices that are not only inclusive but that can promote the real integration of communities with minority background in schools.
Furthermore, the discussion is also framed by the geographic context where the study will take place: PMA, situated in north of Portugal, is constituted by 17 towns and 104 schools’ clusters, where only 15% of the population have higher studies and 1.3% have a foreign citizenship (Censos, 2011).
This study is part of a doctoral project about the collaborative construction of intercultural competencies between professionals and young people in educational contexts. The results of this document analysis will be triangulated with mix methods, such as data from a survey in a sample of selected schools, interviews and focus-group discussions with professionals and young people of PMA. This proposal results empirically from the document analysis (Bowen, 2009; Punch, 2014) of “Educational Projects” from 104 schools’ clusters in Porto Metropolitan Area. Literature suggests that documents, both historical and contemporary, are a rich source of data for research in social sciences (Punch, 2014). Document analysis is a systematic procedure for reviewing or evaluating documents-both printed and electronic (computer-based and Internet-transmitted) material (Bowen, 2009) and assumes to be an important way of data collection in an era of easy access to documents and important information. The data collection is ongoing and is following the next procedures: - After researching all the schools’ clusters in Porto Metropolitan Area on the Portuguese General Direction of Education website, the document search is being developed on the websites of all 104 schools’ clusters to collect the “Educational Project” of each one; - The document search targets the last Educational Projects elaborated by each school cluster that has a 4 years period of duration (some schools are in the process of elaborating a new Educational Project or others may not yet have the new projects available online); - In the first phase, the search aims to look for schools who described, in their educational project, type of students population: ethnicity, migrant background, social class, and other information that can inform us about the general aspect of the school population;. - In the second phase we will analyze projects/practices that schools could have that can promote integration and/or an understanding about multiculturalism and approaches to an intercultural education; - Giving the previous information, we will divide schools that have intercultural concerns from that one’s that don’t have these concerns; - We will consider an approach to: priorities (where the concern with diversity appear); the concept of education; target audience; partnerships/networks; these could be the primary categories, but we will take into consideration the emerging categories that came from the data collection, following an inductive model of research where categories and coding will emerge from data (Punch, 2014).
We aim to contribute on thinking about what schools are doing to improve their practices and to empower young people to think about intercultural questions. We expect to know more about how schools of this area are dealing with questions related to diversity and what the strategies they are putting into practice are. After the first look on Porto Metropolitan Area we are now capable to know more about it: it has an approximate, geographic area of 2.040 km2 and 1.700.000 inhabitants, divided by the 17 towns. All of these towns have their own specificities; however, they converge in a complementarity from the existence of diversity, in which, the Metropolitan Area is promoting the cohesion. The PMA has considered education as a factor of competitiveness and development of human potential, and assumes this field as a strategic priority that gains form by the development of intervention projects and practices at the city level (PMA website). We consider that these concerns will be visible in Educational Projects of schools’ clusters too.
Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. (1970). A Reprodução: Elementos para uma Teoria do Sistema de ensino. Lisboa: Veja. Bowen, G.. (2009). Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9, 27 – 40. Dietz, G. (2003). Multiculturalismo, interculturalidade y educación: una aproximación antropológica. Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada. Direcção-Geral de Educação (2016). Agenda Europeia para as Migrações – Guia de Acolhimento: Educação Pré-Escolar, Ensino Básico, Ensino Secundário. Lisboa: Direcção-Geral de Educação. Instituto Nacional de Estatística (2011). Censos 2011. Accessed on January 2018 in http://censos.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=censos_historia_pt Punch, K. (2014). Social research: Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches. London: SAGE Publications. Porto Metropolitan Area website. Accesses on January 2018 in http://portal.amp.pt/ Ribeiro, N. (2014). Educação e Cidadania de Jovens e Imigrantes: Constrangimentos e Possibilidades de Participação Cívica e Política. Tese de Doutoramento, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal. Silva, D. (2016). O trabalho educativo com jovens descendentes de imigrantes e de minorias étnicas: competências profissionais, estratégias e políticas de capacitação. Dissertação de Mestrado. Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da educação da Universidade do Porto. Porto, Portugal Silva, S. M. (2013). Condição de Estranheza e Relação com o Mundo da Escola. In Manuel Matos (Ed.), Jovales – Jovens, Alunos e Ensino Secundário. Porto: CIIE/Livpsic. Vieluf S., et al (2012). Teaching Practices and Pedagogical Innovation: Evidence form TALIS. OECD Publishing. Williamson, B., & Payton, S. (2009). Curriculum and teaching innovation: Transforming classroom practice and personalization. FutureLab: Innovation in education.
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