07 SES 01 B, Theories and Practices of Intercultural Research in Education
Last year, opening the ntw 7 session together with Ghazala Bhatti and Yvonne Leeman, I stressed how “at a time when populistic and nationalistic rhetoric and policies promote and lay sole claim to national identities, take action to limit the human and educational rights of individuals, families and workers from minority ethnic backgrounds, and effectively block refugees at their borders, for us in Network 7 it is imperative that the conversation about social justice begins again in earnest and that it continues”. We noticed that too often diversity is conceptualized as an attribute of the others, yet could I, as an Italian, ignore my country’s history of cultural, linguistic and socio-economic diversities that must now take into account the ones brought by the immigrants? We chose to considered aspects of the current complexities in the form of a conversation that I now plan to continue at ECER 2019, especially since the more recent steps taken by a number of national governments (Italy included) are placing the incoming immigrants and the residing minorities at high risk.
From the beginning intercultural education defined the cultural diversity of minorities and immigrants as an opportunity for encountering, reflecting on, and widening the respective ways of life and values, the taken for granted expectations, and for attaining social justice. However, in criticizing the “essentialized” identities assigned to minorities and immigrants (a shareable move, though a description/interpretation of the “de-essentializing” process is often missing), intercultural education seems to have shelved critical research on, and analysis of the histories and identities of the “hosts”.
In my presentation I will argue that exploring how the “hosts” construct, maintain, transform their own identity is an indispensable complement to the criticism of the “essentialization” of others’ diversity, and will stress how my approach to the latter through ethnographic and narrative research made me aware of how personal and cultural identities-my own as well as those of others-can be a matter of “situated learning”, to borrow the seminal contribution of Lave and Wenger (1991). By identifying a learning process that by definition takes place in different contexts and through different values, habits, expectations of different people, and by acknowledging their, and others’, multicultural identity (as anthropologist Goodenough reminded us (1976), and the arts affirm thanks to emphatic imagination), researchers (and educators) can attain a form of intercultural awareness that is responsive to the demand for recognition, human rights and social justice.
1) Ethnographic research focused on the interaction between the researcher and her interlocutors, and how the intercultural awareness attained by both can often be reached through misunderstanding of educational action, or negotiation on its interpretations. 2) Narrative research carried out through life stories' collection, auto-biography and literary texts.
Findings from ethnographic fieldwork in different contexts, and the exploration of how identities are constructed in narratives and the arts point to the complexity of personal and cultural identities, be those of immigrants and of minorities, or of the "hosts".
1.Gobbo F. (2017a), “Bringing Up the Babies: Men Educators in a Municipal Nursery School of an Italian Town”, in W. Pink, G. W. Noblit eds., II ed. of International Handbook of Urban Education, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 1263-1289. 2.Gobbo F. (2017b), “Educational Justice and Occupational Mobility: The Role of Civic Commitment and of Imagination”, in Dana Moree ed., special issue of Urban Education 3.Gobbo F. (2015a), “On the education of Roma. Interrogating research findings and institutional policies”, in Intercultural Education, vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 87-93. 4.Gobbo F. (2015b), “People ‘of passage’: an intercultural educator’s interpretation of diversity and cultural identity”, in Griffiths M, Bridges D., Smeyers P. eds., International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research Methods, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 505-528. 5.Gobbo F. (2014), “’Send in the clowns’, or the imagination at work: the narratives of three pediatric ward clowns”, in Studia Paedagogica, vol. 19, n. 4, pp. 101-120. 6.Gobbo F. (2012), “ Intercultural dialogue and ethnography. On learning about diversity in Italian multicultural classrooms”, in Tina Besley, Michael A. Peters eds., Interculturalism, Education and Dialogue, Peter Lang Publishing, New York, pp. 224- 236. 7.Gobbo F. (2009), “Moving Lives: a Reflective Account of a Three Generation Travelling Attractionist Family in Italy”, in Danaher, Patrick Alan, Kenny, Mairin, Leder, Judith Remy, eds., Traveller, Nomadic and Migrant Education, Routledge, London, pp. 13- 28. 8.Gobbo F. (2008), “Learning from others, learning with others: the tense encounter between equality and difference”, Orbis Scholae, Vol. 2, pp. 55- 75. 9.Goodenough W. H. (1976), “Multiculturalism as the Normal Human Experience”, in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, vol. VII, no. 4, pp. 4-7. 10.Lave J., Wenger E. (1991), Situated Learning. Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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