07 SES 05 A, Researching Roma Education
This paper is fruit of a two years ethnographic research in a Sinti and Roma family network and in a middle school of Trento in Trentino South-Tyrol, a North-eastern Italian region at the border with Austria. What innovations have been experimented in contemporary schools for the education of Sinti and Roma students? If special classes have left an heavy burden, to the older generations of Roma and Sinti parents, to see the school as a possible place of a useful education for their children, new models and innovations are present in some European schools today. In this paper I will analyze the model of the Intercultural workshop. If on one hand it is still present the reproduction of some features of the special classes in contemporary school, on the other hand I will highlight the innovations brought to school from this workshop, experimented in an Italian city. Teachers, Roma and Sinti’ creativity consists both in their capacity of changing their coping strategies from main classroom to the Intercultural workshop, in teaching and learning methods, as well as in the interactive models between Roma/Sinti and non-Roma/non-Sinti. Europe and especially Southern Europe is nowadays characterized by low resources for school projects sustaining Intercultural education and additional language learning, due to the Western world economic recession. Furthermore all over Europe has been spread the growth of anti-‘Gypsism’ and racist political movements, actions and laws. In this setting subjects’ creativity and agency is constrained within rigid limits and for this reason it is even more interesting looking at the glimmers of innovative interactions and teaching and learning modalities in the framework of Roma and Sinti education field. Indeed, it is important to highlight specific contexts in Europe where head teachers, teachers, parents and students’ creativity and innovative actions and projects have generated new positive interactions and new opportunities of education, in which both teachers, parents and students believe and truly participate.
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