07 SES 04 A, Inclusion of Newcomers and Refugees Part 1
Paper Session to be continued in 07 SES 06 A
According to Eurostat statistics (2018), intense international migrant flows interest the European Union due to composite reasons: economic, environmental, social and political (Menjívar & Perreira, 2019). In this scenario, the issue of unaccompanied minors raised several reflections: they represent a dynamic and various phenomenon conditioned both by to "long-term" elements and contingencies of contemporary social dynamics (Agostinetto, 2017). The first significant migratory movements started with the World War II and linked then to the Cold War dynamics. Since the 70s, flows were determined by other international conflicts, such as the ones in Somalia and Sudan, while in the 80s, arrivals were mainly due to poverty and research of emancipation. In the 90s global migratory movements intensified because of the Soviet Union dissolution. From the legal point of view, since the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratification (The United Nations, 1989), the social construction of "childhood" implied a theoretical change, making protection perspectives more effective. In 1997, with the arrival on the European continent of a large number of children, the Council of the European Union designated these foreign minors as "Unaccompanied Minors" (MNA). Today’s definition of the term reads minors who arrive “on the territory of an EU Member unaccompanied by the adult responsible for them by law or by the practice of the EU Member State concerned, and for as long as they are not effectively taken into the care of such a person” (EU, 2011; EMN, 2018, p. 387). EU edited many documents and recommendations aimed at policymakers, researchers, and practitioners focusing on strengthen unaccompanied children protection and inclusion (i.e.: 2018; 2017). Italian law (47/2017) traces unaccompanied minors’ rights in general principles and practical directions of their reception. Indeed, the article 1 states that these children benefit of protection as well as Italian or European Union citizens do, with the obvious "prohibition of rejection" (Article 3). Article 4 sets the duty of reception at "first assistance and reception services" aimed at accompanying them towards adulthood by setting long-term integration measures (Article 13). Assuming that “children who migrate without their parents can be categorized in a number of ways, depending on the definitions and policies in place, as well as on the political responses to their migration” (Chavez & Menjivar 2010, p. 73), unaccompanied minors interrogate our democratic and welfare society on several points, such as legislative framework, organizational responsibilities, professional and monetary schemes (Sandermann, Husen & Zeller, 2017), and, not last, educational projects. After the phase of first emergency services and identification, the Italian system implies unaccompanied children accommodation mainly (88,7%) in “foster care homes, residential care homes, low-threshold centres, in the case of teens close to adulthood” (Catarci & Rocchi, 2017, p. 112). The action-research presented in this paper wants to tackle the challenge of outlining the pedagogical and educational coordinates for a model of "responsible handling" of these young people. This action-research begins in in-service training contexts, with the aim of defining theoretically sound pedagogical and educational instruments, co-constructed with the professionals of three youth residential cares in Venice. Particularly, research questions are:
- Considering the pedagogical models and the institutional educational framework, which are the instances that professionals define as determinants and difficult/problematic in working with unaccompanied children?
- Can these instances be effectively and appropriately declined/specified in educational objectives and actions, commensurate with unaccompanied minors’ specific characteristics and - individual life projects?
Unaccompanied minors are in a vulnerable situation and the education and care they receive are particularly important in order to foster a positive future (Ketil & Anders, 2013). Education is a key factor in social inclusion processes in Italy (Agostinetto, 2017). The most recent Italian data covers 13.151 (88.7%) admissions into youth residential cares in June 2018 while 3.9% of minors are living with compatriots or relatives, and for the other 7.4% the type of allocation cannot be identified (MLPS, 2018). The research follows a qualitative methodology spreading over two years, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Participants are 1 coordinator, 1 supervisor and 15 educators of three youth residential cares. The coordinator and the supervisor are males (48 and 61 years old), while the educators are 7 males and 8 females, aged between 28 and 35: 3 of them are also their respective team’s representatives. The aims of the study are two: first, to "disassemble" in-place assumptions and procedures, re-reading them in a reflexive way based on theoretical models. Second, to reformulate considerations and new acquisitions in justified terms. At the present time, we are at the beginning of the second phase. The process started from a twofold preparatory work: on one hand, the exploration and clarification of problems and assumptions was addressed with individual semi structured interviews and following focus groups. On the other, a further series of focus groups identifies and explicated the thematic-methodological guidelines to be pursued. These focus groups are to be conducted according to the team composition in the single youth residential cares residential care homes (3): there were 3 meetings for each group. Two more focus groups were carried out with the 3 teams’ representatives, the coordinator and the supervisor. Therefore, we operated on three distinct but not disjointed levels: - the analysis of the instances that educational operators defined determinant and/or difficult to face (problematic statements); - analysis of the institutional and cultural framework of the organization (normative statements); - analysis of pedagogical models and professional profiles of reference (defining statements).
Working on these three levels granted an access to the implicit anthropological foundations of every educational perspective. Indeed, participants reflected not only about the basis of their actions, but also about their being educators (Agostinetto, 2017). The “disassemble” phase involved 6 areas. The analysis is still ongoing, but we can here anticipate the areas’ topics: 1. The cognitive area: processes, models and schemes related to understanding and knowledge. With unaccompanied minors, it also implies the way they decode, accommodate and accept the new cultural environment. 2. The affective area: the emotional sphere of the person and his most intimate connections. In our context, the most important are the ones with the family, even if these minors’ families are far by definition. 3. The ethical area: rules and values that regulate and guide unaccompanied minors’ personal and social behavior. 4. The relational area: the encounter with the Other. For those who live in a community, this area includes the ability to enter into relation with the others and to develop stable, participatory and reciprocal connections. 5. The social area: the ability to open up to the world, to integrate into different social contexts, and to participate. In the experience of unaccompanied minors it moves from the ability to join a group, accepting its rules and responsibilities. 6. The practical area: the progressive exercise of responsible autonomy in daily practices, in gradually more complex steps. For unaccompanied minors having to learn how to live alone in order to manage all the aspects of their everyday life (from health to documentation) in a significantly different and distant context from their own and not always welcoming, is an impelling need. Work with unaccompanied minors does not involve only protection and social inclusion, but implies a pedagogical commitment on all the dimensions of the person.
Agostinetto, L. (2017). Minori stranieri non accompagnati. In M. Fiorucci, F Pinto Minerva, A Portera (EDS), Gli alfabeti dell’intercultura (439-454). Pisa: ETS.
Catarci M., Rocchi, M. (2017). The Inclusion of Unaccompanied Minors in Italy. Education Sciences & Society, 2/2017, 109-126.
Cecilia Menjívar & Krista M. Perreira (2019) Undocumented and unaccompanied: children of migration in the European Union and the United States, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45:2, 197-217.
Chavez, L. & Menjivar, C. (2010). Children Without Borders. A Mapping of the Literature on Unaccompanied Migrant Children in the United States. Migraciones Internationales 5(3), 71-111.
EU (2011). Directive 2011/95/Eu Of The European Parliament And Of The Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualificLPSation of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast).
European Migration Network – EMN (2018). Asylum and Migration Glossary 6.0. Retrieved online < http://emn.ie/files/p_20180521043751interactive_glossary_6.0_final_version.pdf>.
Eurostat (2018). Migration and migrant population statistics. Retrieved online
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
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.