14 SES 02 A, Community Participation & Agency against Educational Exclusion
Our proposal focuses on the educational work carried out by different actors (associations, foundations, NGOs), which provide non-formal educational services and social support to youngsters who either are externalized from secondary schools before finishing their Compulsory Education, or have finished it without a certificate. Local facilities that emerged at the end of the 1980s from the sphere of social intervention are aimed at them (Merino, 2013). These non-formal actors are oriented to favour the incorporation to the labor market by offering Vocational Education and Training addressed to professional profiles of low qualification (Termes, 2012).
The main goal of this paper is to transfer the methodology of applied research, implemented by the scientific team in charge of the coordination of the project "Innovation and educational success in the Municipal Network of Social and Labour Centres of the Council of Zaragoza" (#innovaCSL), since 2016. As specific goal, the scientific team has opened multidisciplinary research spaces, with the participation of members of the teaching staff, focused on providing a community and an educational success approach. Moving away from the low expectations from which some research on the education of this population are starting (Macías & Redondo, 2012).
#innovaCSL is being developed in twelve centers, with 400 students between 14 and 26 years: among them 35% from migrant families and 25% roma students. Training teachers in educational methodologies and social intervention focused on involving families and opening centres to the community (Epstein, 2010; Bergnehr, 2015). And developing actions that have provided evidence worldwide to obtain the best educational results for all, such as service-learning and mentoring (O'Grady, 2014). This research-based knowledge expect to reduce the socio-educative exclusion, increase the social capital and to break the process of production and reproduction of social inequality in the labour market (Bordieu, 2001). Facing, at the same time, the challenge of changing the model offered so far by social organizations and the Local Public Administration. Introducing new expectations of labour and educational insertion, linked to social mobility in the knowledge society (Behtoui, 2013).
There is abundant literature and professional discourses (Rahona & Morales, 2013) which point to the family, the community or the social group of origin and its economic, cultural and social conditions as facilitators of failure and school dropout. However, more and more research and innovation projects suggest that there are other factors, linked to educational and social methodology, that have impact on educational inclusion (Girbés, Macías, & Álvarez, 2015). From this last transformative perspective we tackle the situation of these educational and social centres.
The degree of vulnerability in personal and family trajectories overrepresents in the classrooms those who are suffering not only the current economic crisis, but those who were already excluded in previous generations. Therefore, with the migratory cycle to Spain initiated at the end of the last century, the cultural diversity of the centres has added new profiles of young people who do not fit into a homogenous regular education and, in view of the reports (Choi & Calero, 2013), non-inclusive.
These sociodemographic profiles and socio-educational results are significantly different from those described in local studies, prior to the current economic crisis. South European structural youth unemployment has been aggravated by the low labor insertion of young people from training itineraries such as those studied (Eurofound, 2012). What has introduced new debates on the adequacy of these educational centres, carried out by civil society organizations, in all the Spanish regions (Collet & Tarabini, 2017). Among other causes, because the labour market changes have had a ‘refuge effect’, changing the orientation of some of the training itineraries observed, today more academic than occupational.
#innovaCSL is carried out through a collaborative action research. Where members of the teaching staff, as practitioners, explore their own educational and social practices and reflect how each can enhance them through the shared researching (Elliot, 2011). This process has been developed by two-steps. The first year, the activities included: a) Establishment of the “Motor Group” (MG), a heterogeneous group of researchers, representatives of civil society actors (association, foundations…) and city council technical staffs. MG is fundamental to the participatory development of the project and was set up after to the problem-framing phase. b) Establishment of the “Working Groups” (WG). Fundamental in the diagnostic and action phase, WG involve members of the teaching staff and experts around these topics: Service-learning, Diversity, Educational methodologies, and Intervention on Family. Besides, participant observation (in four centers); interview to family pupils (in three centres) and a focus group about “Family involvement in Social and Labour Centres” enriches the final diagnostic. c) Training programs as key element for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD). #innovaCSL have provided professional development activities that do match the needs expressed by teachers. In addition, to the thematic WG established, training programs were also developed around the topic “Tools for innovation and educational success”. Among others, training programs included conferences and workshops about success educational activities (Includ-ed, 2011), Service-learning, roma culture, as well as a visit to a Pre-primary and Primary Education School which apply success practices. During this second academic year, WG continues their tasks and, additionally, a new WG have been established recently around the topic “employability”. On the other hand, it has been encouraged a WG about roma people and education, as a first result of this project. The relationship between the university community and the project has been worked with deepness, with lines that included: A. Participation of university students as researchers. B. Providing support to carry on Service Learning experiences led by disadvantaged youngsters. C. Promoting Service Learning experiences among university students focused on reinforce Social and Labour Centers activities and innovation process. D. And making a voluntary team to collaborate in the innovations. This team will make a survey about intercultural competences of the teachers. All these lines and theirs activities should finish at the end of 2018. The goal is to create protocols, guidelines and other tools that will make possible to implement the innovations out in each center.
#innovaCSL is in its second year of development. Only provisional findings can be shared, but we can highlight some results. Teaching staff, as active participants in the process of innovation and research, show a high degree of satisfaction with the project, job done and learning about innovations proposed to their classrooms. As part of this research process in conciliation with training (Elliot, 2011), educators are interested in how to include the innovations in the curriculum, to achieve their systematization in the development of teaching-learning processes (Baldwin, 2016). In addition, educators are drawing upon the research to reflect and to be awareness about their own educational practices: “This project allows me to evaluate my teaching practice and think about how to improve it” (teacher). On the other hand, pupils who have already participated show their satisfaction with the experience too. They remark the opportunity to share their knowledge with their communities through Service-Learning, as well as for developing their autonomy, communication and personal skills: "Satisfaction, since I feel good when teaching my qualities so they can learn" (student); "You feel like a teacher teaching what you know to others" (student). Furthermore, challenges arise during the process in each WG. These challenges imply innovation and raise the expectations of educational and work success of the students: A. Cultural diversity: to reflect about educative practices and to improve the intercultural competences. B. Methodology: to transfer and adapt methodologies. C. Employ: prospection of training specialities with higher educational and laboural expectations (Guash, 2006). D. Families: to offer interaction and participation spaces (Vigo & Dieste, 2018) E. Learning-Service: to improve education success and encourage citizenship values by setting the community closer (Waterman, 2014). Consequently, the main challenge ahead is to find a way to include community and families into educational process since an inclusive perspective.
Baldwin, M. (2016). Social work, critical reflection and the learning organization. NY: Routledge. Behtoui, A. (2013). Social Capital and Stratification of Young People. Social Inclusion, 1(1), 46-58. Bergnehr, D. (2015). Advancing home–school relations through parent support?. Ethnography and Education, 10(2), 170-184. Bourdieu, P. (2001).The forms of capital. The sociology of economic life. Oxford: Westview Press Choi, Á., & Calero, J. (2013). Determinantes del riesgo de fracaso escolar en España en PISA-2009 y propuestas de reforma. Revista de Educación, 362, Doi: 10.4438/1988-592X-RE-2013-362-242 Collet, J. & Tarabini, A. (2017). Otra oportunidad para aprender. Cuadernos de pedagogía, 478, 48-51. Epstein, J.L. (2010). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, CO: Wetsview Press. Elliott, J. (2011). Reconstructing teacher education, Vol. 221. NY: Routledge. Eurofound (2012). NEETs. Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Guasch, B. (2006). Espacios educativos que ofrecen una alternativa al fracaso escolar. Gestión perversa de un modelo de aprendizaje. Educación social: Revista de intervención socioeducativa, 32, 61-78. Girbés, S., Macías, F., & Álvarez, P. (2015). From a Ghetto School to a Learning Community: A Case Study on the Overcoming of Poverty through a Successful Education. Sciences, 4(1), 88-116. INCLUD-ED (2011). Strategies for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe from Education. Bruselas: European Commission. Macías, F., & Redondo, G. (2012). Pueblo gitano, género y educación: investigar para excluir o investigar para transformar. Revista Internacional de Sociología de la Educación, 1(1). 71-92. Merino, R. (2013). Las sucesivas reformas de la formación profesional en España o la paradoja entre integración y segregación escolar. Education Policy Analysis Archives/Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, 21. O'Grady, C.R. (Ed.). (2014). Integrating service learning and multicultural education in colleges and universities. NY: Routledge. Rahona, M. & Morales, S. (2013) Educación e inmigración en España: desafíos y oportunidades. Madrid, OEI. Termes, A. (2012). La recuperación académica en la FP: alcance y potencialidades, riesgos y límites. Revista de la Asociación de Sociología de la Educación, 5(1), 58-74. Vigo, B, & Dieste, B. (2018). Building virtual interaction spaces between family and school. Ethnography and Education, 13, 1-17. Doi: 10.1080/17457823.2018.1431950 Waterman, A.S. (Ed.). (2014). Service-learning: Applications from the research. NY: Routledge.
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