04 SES 11 C, Achieving an Inclusive Culture for Indigenous/ Roma Youth: Recognising diversity as an educational opportunity
The contribution reports an empirical research focused on migrant pupils with disabilities living in a territory (north of Italy) in which their presence it records an increase and a consequent need for effective inclusive responses. The survey involves different professionals: teachers, educators and other figures working in network, supporting children with disabilities and their parents attending primary school (6-11 years old). The current research aims to provide answers to the following questions: are disability and migration included in their plot or are they considered distinctly? Which representations and possible stereotypes and prejudices they imply? The survey project (2016-2018) is promoted by the Terre D'Argine Union in collaboration with the Department of Educational Sciences "G.B. Bertin ", University of Bologna and with the University IUSVE (aggregated at the Pontifical University) of Venice-Mestre. Scientific supervision was done by Prof Roberta Caldin e Prof Ivana Bolognesi. The territorial Responsables were particularly interested to know if and how the presence of migrant students with disabilities has changed the "inclusion model" historically used in their context where emerges that the disability linked to the average mental retardation prevails, sometimes due to "experiential deprivation" becomes more complex and often results aggravated by particularly fragmented and difficult migratory pathways.
From a first analysis seems clear that even if processes of reflection have been activated by professionals, in order to the necessity of considering the double condition of diversity, nevertheless, we still find a condition of necessity to outline explicit and specific "guidelines" which involve disability and migration.
The survey is based on the empirical-exploratory-descriptive typology of research which combines both qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (questionnaire) devices, pursuing an "integrated approach" (Saukko, 2005), increasingly used in educational and social research known as “Mixed method approach” (Creswell, 2013). The investigation has not been defined on rigidly hypotheses, but on multiple questions that have made possible both the theoretical-scientific analysis of the topic, and the detection and analysis of empirical data collected with reference to qualitative and quantitative matrix devices. In this perspective Demetrio (1992) defined the conception of a research a process of provisional formulation that is enriched, and defines during the research. Therefore the ideation is conceived as a a rather laborious phase that does not require long time because we are aware of the fact that it will organize itself along the way by means of successive conceptual elaborations. As already presented in the previous paragraphs, the research project investigated, through a qualitative-quantitative approach, how the presence of disabled pupils, children of migrants, influences the practice of school integration and inclusion. Folowing this design of research, we choose some tools that could allow us to reconstruct in a more complete way the context and the analysis of data. In addition to the focus group tool, a questionnaire was created for multiple choice questions, both closed and open. Each was asked to fill in the questionnaire, referring to students with disabilities, children of migrants present in the classroom during the 2015-2016 school year. The questionnaires were submited on-line and this kind of administration allowed greater flexibility in the compilation of the same. They were subjected to a preliminary test to ascertain their completeness and comprehensibility on a sample of professionals. The items were re-defined after analyzing the focus group that was very valuable not only to understand if the people involved had somehow established inclusive practices already shared, but even if they were aware and capable of identifying existing synergies between disability and migration, even if on an informal level.
As first conclusion we can affirm that even if processes of reflection have been activated by professionals, in order to the necessity of considering the double condition of diversity, the way to be crossed for making this interlacement explicit is still long. Primary we expect that the results achieved make possible to draw up a sort of vademecum of guidelines for professionals working with migrant children with disability. Expected outcomes that the research contributes to keeping a watchful eye on the functioning of the territorial network and also to raise new questions in the national context dealing with to the "category" of migrant people with disabilities that, according to the services, seems increasing in some areas of the country. The obligation to use the conditional in this conclusion of contribution is posed by the fact that, to date, there is no precise database available that consider these two variables. The findings clearly indicate that the extensive scientific literature tends considerably to be reduced when it comes to analyzing disability and cultural differences in their intersection, while is fundamental to consider them together. This gap also explains the reason why the two dimensions continue to be treated as two distinct worlds.
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