07 SES 05 A, Researching Roma Education
We present the main provisionally results of one Workpackage of the research project PERARES: Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society, from the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission (Mulder 2010-2014), applied in Spain. The main objective of the research work is to enter into research co-operation with Civil Society Organizations (CSO) on Roma/Travellers’ issues, share existing knowledge and articulate research needs in such a way that makes it possible to monitor and learn from the engagement process. All the participants in the research (representing Hungary, UK and Spain) will invite local CSOs, researchers, concerned citizens and centres of research to participate during the whole research process.
The research work developed in Spain has the main objective to initiate new processes of actively engaging CSOs in research, so that the research matches the community’s needs, particularly the needs of minority groups, in order to ensure that the most urging R&D concerns are addressed and that research will have more significant policy relevance concerning progressive changes in a European context.
The problem definition and developed actions (the basis to work on the Pilot Project), have been defined in continuous meetings with the Roma associations and with the advisory council of the Roma Centre Studies (CEG). The target group of the pilot project is the Roma community in Spain. There is a special interest in non-academic Roma women because of the triple situation of inequality they suffer – for being women, Roma and not having had access to education (Sordé 2006; Sorde, 2008-2011).
The research and other actions regarding Roma have often ignored their voice and participation and in many cases the results have only increased their exclusion (Touraine, Wieviorka and Flecha, 2004). In Catalonia, in the last ten years there has been a considerable progress in including Roma in the research (CREA 2000-2003; CREA 2004-2006). On 21 November the Catalan parliament passed unanimously a resolution recognizing the identity of the Roma people (Resolution 1046/VI, 2001). This resolution was based in the previous research work developed in the Workaló Project (CREA 2001-2004). Taking into account this situation in Spain, the Pilot Project was aimed at identifying 3 problems and contributing to the development, analysis and evaluation of the actions implemented to overcome these problems. The problems are:
- Need for a regulatory framework to guarantee that is not possible to realize a research project on Roma without their agreement and support, as well as without their participation in the design, implementation and the evaluation of the project.
- The Roma people suffer a serious educational exclusion as a result of centuries of marginalization and segregating educational practices. This exclusion is limiting their possibilities to develop academically, as well as socially and in the area of labour (Gómez & Vargas, 2003).
- Exclusion of non-academic Roma women from spaces of participation, public debate and decision-making.
CREA-UB (2000-2003). Brudila Callí: Roma women against exclusion. Overcoming truancy and school failure among Roma girls. National Plan I+D+I. Institute for Woman, Joint Commission of Science and Technology, Ministry of Work and Social Affairs. CREA-UB (2001-2004). WORKALÓ. The creation of New occupational patterns for cultural minorities. The Gypsy case. RTD. FP5. DG XII. Improving the Socio-economic Knowledge Base. CREA-UB (2004–2006). MESTIPEN ROMÍ: Roma women and associativism in Spain. Challenges and contributions. National Plan I+D+I. Joint Commission of Science and Technology. Ministry of Work and Social Affairs / Institute for Women. Gómez, A.; Flecha, R.; Puigvert, L. (2011). Critical Communicative Methodology: Informing real social transformation through research. Qualitative Inquiry, 17 (3), 235-245. Gómez, J., Latorre A., Sánchez M., Flecha R. (2006): Metodología Comunicativa Crítica. Barcelona: El Roure. Gómez, J.; Vargas, J. (2003). Why Romà do not like mainstream schools: voices of a people without territory. Harvard Educational Review. v. 73, pp. 559-590. Mulder, H. (2010-2014). PERARES: Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society. European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) Sordé, T. (2006). Les reivindicacions educatives de les dones gitanes. Galerada: Barcelona. [Educational demands of Roma women. Sordé, T. (2008-2011). Roma Immigration to Spain: the challenges of social inclusion and coexistence. Ministry of Science and Innovation. National Plan I+D+I. Touraine, A.; M, Wieviorka, M.; R, Flecha, (cord.) (2004). Conocimiento e identidad. Voces de grupos culturales en la investigación social. Barcelona: El Roure.
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