05 SES 03 B, Urban Education & Children and Youth at Risk
Parallel Paper Session
The objectives of education policies in Spain and Europe establish that the success of the system is in the nearly universal education. In accordance with the European Commission (2008), this means that at least 85% of young people should complete upper secondary education each year. Unfortunately, in the same year, the early-school leaving rates reached an average of 14.9% in the European Union and 31.9% in Spain (33.1% in Catalonia), the fifth highest percentage. Moreover, according to the Labour Force Survey (Roca, 2010), such phenomena seems to be more common among non-national students in all countries. The results of research carried out nationally and internationally confirm that the period of secondary education constitutes a stage of high academic risk or vulnerability, especially for immigrants (CTESC, 2011, Serra and Palaudàrias, 2010).
Despite the weak academic paths of these specific groups, some of them successfully complete their last year of ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education), and some persevere in the post-compulsory stage (PO). These are students known to have successful academic careers (Chavkin and González, 2000). Recently, the analysis and comprehension of these triumphant processes against the situation has been strongly developed in international research, mainly referring to the phenomenon of resilience. The construct of “resilience education” is seen as an attribute that could be promoted through the “variable” dimensions related to the success of an individual at school. On this basis, efforts are underway to prevent, treat and design effective interventions from a diagnostic perspective. However, the lack of studies that analyze in depth the development of resilient mechanisms in students with social and cultural vulnerability demands further research.
The research presented addresses the risky transition of immigrant students from ESO-PO taking the perspective of academic resilience as a reference. The hypothesis is that such successful paths may be explained through resilient processes which mingle certain abilities students have with socio-educational supports coming from the environment. This research is funded by the catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) through a “Grant to encourage applied research and university education on immigration in Catalonia” (ARAFI-DGR 2010).
Some of the questions that guide the research include: What are the protective factors that may have had an influence on the successful paths of these students? Are the same in all cultural groups? What resilient resorts have they activated? How do they interact? To what extent are the programs and educational activities promoting successful paths from this perspective?
The general objectives of the research are: a) to analyze the relationship between resilience and school success regarding immigrant students, b) to develop and validate a diagnostic tool to improve understanding of the resilience levels of these students, and c) to provide guidelines for improvement and educational intervention from the perspective of resilience.
This paper will present, on the one hand, the design of the study carried out and, on the other hand, the results which support the general hypothesis that resilience is related to the persistence and, therefore, to the educational transition.
Chavkin, N.; González, J. (2000) Mexican Immigrant Youth and Resiliency: Research and Promising Programs. Charleston, U.S. Department of Education. Consell de Treball, Econòmic i Social de Catalunya (CTESC) (2011) Informe sobre el risc de fracàs escolar a Catalunya. Barcelona: Col•lecció estudis i informes, 26. European Commission (2008) Commision Staff Working Document: Progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training. Indicators and benchmarks. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Grotberg, E. (1995). A guide to promoting resilience in children: strengthening the human spirit. La Haya: Bernard Van Leer Foundation Available in: http://resilnet.uiuc.edu/library/grotb95b.html [access: 27/01/2012] Roca, E. (2010) “El abandono temprano de la educación y la formación en España”. Revista de Educación, número extraordinario 2010, p. 31-62. Saavedra, E. (2003). El Enfoque Cognitivo Procesal Sistémico como posibilidad de intervenir educativamente en la formación de sujetos resilientes. Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid [Tesis doctoral] . Saavedra, E.; Villalta, M.A. (2008) Escala de resiliencia para jóvenes y adultos (SV-RES). Santiago de Chile: CEANIM. Sandín, M.P.; Pavón, M.A. (2011) Immigration, social support, and community from a relational perspective. Personal networks of young immigrants in an educational intervention experience, a Wiater, W.; Manschke, D. (eds.) Tolerance and education in multicultural societies. Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, p. 125-138. Serra, C.; Palaudàrias, J.M. (2010) Continuar o abandonar. L’alumnat estranger a l’educació secundària. Barcelona: Fundació Jaume Bofill. Ungar, M. (2008) «Resilience across Cultures». British Journal of Social Work, 38, p. 218–235. Ungar, M. (2011) «Assessing Resilience Across Cultures Using Mixed Methods: Construction of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure». Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 5, p. 126-149.
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