14 SES 10, Family Education and Parenting – Multicultural Aspects I
Parallel Paper Session
Research shows that in most countries there are significant differences in school performance between foreign students and their native peers. It is also shown that, despite having a more positive attitude towards school and highest aspirations, young foreigners have poorer results and their aspirations decrease with time and also, especially among certain groups, there is no improvement in their academic results. Furthermore, there is research evidence of how opportunities are distributed, as well as the way public policies, structure and school culture take different forms and significance among young minority people and collaborate in the construction of their trajectories.
Some of these investigations highlighted how academic performance may shape the possibilities of continuity and indicates the dimensions that converge in the failure of minorities in the school and its impact on the processes of social integration. These investigations show (eg. Gibson & Ogbu, 1991; Valenzuela, 2002; Gibson & Carrasco, 2009) that a successful integration process gets reflected in academic success, the school orientations and the positive evaluations that young people do of their own school experiences. In particular, they show how the variability of school experiences is conditioned both by public policies, especially those of education, the structures of insertion and practices which facilitate or not the transitions into the new contexts, such as perceptions that these young people and their families have about the structure of economic opportunities and social reality. These dimensions are particularly significant explaining the experience of those groups that had previous history of contact with the destination societies, such as young Moroccan in Catalonia (Gibson, Carrasco, Pàmies, Ponferrada & Rios, 2012, and others). Those groups have more limited post-compulsory education continuity (Carrasco and others, 2004; Serra and Palaudaries, 2008) and more precarious access to the labor market. However, these findings tend to overlook the successful school trajectories and the growing social participation of a great part of those Moroccan-descent youth of both sexes, in Catalan society. This paper shows the results of a competitive research project financed by the ARAFI Research Grant of the Catalan Govern. Its title is Trajectories of success of young Moroccans in Catalonia. A qualitative analysis from a comparative perspective, which analyzes the conditions and possibilities for academic success and continuity of learning among these young people. The analysis reconstructs the central factors that allow the development of achieving trajectories and the consolidation of sustained academic aspirations. We focus on the field of educational policies and the school institution, as well as on the considerations which emanate from the analysis of the socio-economic, educational and emotional-relational dimensions. But we also take into consideration the importance of the social capital that emanates from the immersion of family life into the cultural life of the ethnic community and how this capital fosters social and community participation dynamics and promotes higher levels of continuing education and successful academic pathways.
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