14 SES 09 A, Policies and Actions to Promote School-Family-Community Links - Communitarian Practices
This paper in based on part of the findings of the VI Framework Programme research project INCLUD-ED. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education (2006-2011). This project has studied how innovative educational projects based on Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) have contributed to overcome educational inequalities in the case of people living in contexts of exclusion, and have been the basis for the development of Integrative Successful Actions (ISAs), social and educational interventions that make possible overcoming inequalities beyond the school walls.
Our contribution focuses on an integrative successful action that is contributing to overcome the exclusion of a community both in education and in employment. We focus on the case study conducted in INCLUD-ED in La Milagrosa neighbourhood in Albacete (Spain). La Milagrosa was created in the 70s in the outskirts of the city of Albacete, as a plan to eradicate shanty towns mainly inhabited by Roma families with little economic resources (Padrós, García, de Mello & Molina, 2011). The school in the neighbourhood suffered from problems of coexistence, dropout and school failure, and in order to overcome this situation in 2006 an innovation project based on SEAs was implemented, counting on dialogue and community participation (Padrós, et. al., 2011). One SEA consisted on implementing the family education programmes that fulfilled the characteristics that research has demonstrated to provide the best results (INCLUD-ED Consortium, 2009). Research demonstrates that successful family education contribute to children’s academic success, regardless their educational level and cultural background (INCLUD-ED Consortium, 2009), overcoming reproduction theories (Baudelot & Establet, 1976). One of the characteristics of these education programmes is that the education provided respond to the needs and demands of the participants as expressed by them. The family and community education programmes created entailed end-users participating in decisions about their own education, decisions from which vulnerable groups are usually excluded (Flecha et. al., 2009). Additionally, these family and community education programmes responded to the evidence that social groups that tend to receive less formal education are the same that are more often excluded from the main areas of society (Pilgram et al., 2001). Precisely, one of the main challenges that the neighbourhood faced was the lack of employment opportunities. The integrative successful action presented here draws also on the evidence provided by research on successful experiences in employment, such as the Mondragon Cooperative Group, which since its foundation has promoted employment in contexts of exclusion (Burgués, et. al., 2013). Dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and community people based on such evidence and the community needs (Padrós, Garcia, de Mello, & Molina, 2011) ended up in the decision to create a cooperative, with the support of the Miguel Fenollera NGO, to organize the informal economy more efficiently and provide alternative forms of self-employment, drawing on the strengths of the community, and offering effective and useful services to the community and surrounding areas.
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