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Community based strategies for educational success in Spain Teresa Sordé Martí, CREA Barcelona Science Park (Universitat de Barcelona)/ Harvard University.

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Presentation on theme: "Community based strategies for educational success in Spain Teresa Sordé Martí, CREA Barcelona Science Park (Universitat de Barcelona)/ Harvard University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community based strategies for educational success in Spain Teresa Sordé Martí, CREA Barcelona Science Park (Universitat de Barcelona)/ Harvard University ENAR, ERIO, DG Employment Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission and the World Bank Roma Fund The Roma and Equal Access to Education: From Segregation to Integrated Schooling Brussels, 28-29 April 2006

2 CREA, Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that overcome inequalities Science Park of Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona

3 Group on Arab and Muslim Studies Alhiwar Romà Studies Centre Centre for Jewish Studies CREA’s women Group Sapho Interrelogious Dialogue Group CREA, Center of Research in Theories and Practices that overcome inequalities

4 1.From superstition to science 2.Learning communities project 3.Aims and principles 4.Phases to transform an educational center into a Learning Community


6 a.Reflections and actions that are obtaining the most important advancements in educational success and improving the living conditions b. Based on the recent theoretical developments and research findings in social and educational sciences: dialogic turn.  Policy-makers in dialogue with Romà representatives  Researchers in dialogue with Romà representatives


8 Research and policy that excludes

9 Michel Wieviorka: As a result of the Arab migration in France, there emerge mixed identities, persons that are 50% French and 50% Algerian Reaction: I am not 50% French and 50% Romà, I am 100% French, I have the same rights and duties as any other French person, and I am also 100% Romà PROMOTING SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE

10 September 27, 2005 The Spanish Parliament recognized the Romà as one of its territory cultural minorities. MAJOR AND MOST EFFECTIVE POLITICAL IMPACT

11 INCLUD-ED. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education (2006-2011), Integrated project, VI Framework Programme of the European Commission (currently under negotiation) WORKALÓ. The creation of new occupational patterns for ethnic minorities (2001-2004, European Commission, RTD, 5FP). Callí Butipen. Romaní women and labour market (2002-2004), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs BRUDILA CALLÍ. Overcoming absenteeism and school dropout of Romaní girls (2001-2003, Spanish National Women’s Institute). ACCESS. University access and Social Exclusion (1997-2001, TSER project, 4FP).

12 HOW TO REACH EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS FOR ROMANÍ COMMUNITIES? Only through the collaboration and the interaction among the multiple agents (teachers, families and community members) it is possible to build a successful educational project


14 A LEARNING COMMUNITY is a project that consists in the social and cultural transformation of an educational center and its surroundings in order to reach the goal of an information society for all, based on dialogic learning, and through the participation of the community in all its spaces, including the classroom. http://www

15 31 Learning Communities around the world 29 Learning Communities in 4 regions of Spain 3 Regional governments that have adopted the Learning Communities project as one of their educational political strategies 4 Regional governments that have showed interest and are considering it.

16 “Learning communities are highly recommended educational experiences that have showed positive impact among the Romà communities in Catalonia. From a community-based perspective: families, and other people that interact with the children, Romaní associations, the evangelist church, and other professionals working in the area. The goal is to reach educational success, getting the most from all the educational agents.” Generalitat de Catalunya. 2005. Integral Plan for the Romà. Barcelona: Departament de benestar i família. Direcció general d’actuacions comunitàries i cíviques, p.49. “One of the priority lines for action will be the promotion of the principles of learning communities.” Federation of Romaní associations of Catalonia (FAGIC) Romaní associations’ support

17 Intergenerational meetings with mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters... All together reflecting and debating around educational challenges and their experiences, seeking ways to enhance educational success ROMANÍ WOMEN MEETINGS «you are born Romí, but when you study you become more Romaní, because you are and because you can defend your culture ” Emília Clavería, Drom Kotar Mestipen President


19 Learning Communities start from the premise that all children, regardless of their culture, gender, ethnicity, and language, have the right to an education that does not condemn them to school failure and social exclusion but rather helps them to finish Secondary School, and therefore, to access a good job. The two basic objectives : reduce rates of school failure, B.improve educational centres atmosphere and culture through both accelerating instrumental learning and promoting solidarity within classrooms, schools and neighbourhoods

20 Centrality of Learning All the school activities and agents are committed and oriented towards the promotion and improvement of learning which becomes the crucial issue for the entire community High expectations/ pedagogy of maximums The expectations cannot be at the minimum level but they have to be to develop all the capabilities at the maximum level.

21 Participation Active involvement of the entire educational community (families, teachers, community members) in the planning, implementation and evaluation of all the activities, optimizing all the available resources.

22 Involve them in decision-making processes and invite them to take responsibility. Listen to them and take into account what they have to say. Call families to comment on positive aspects of their children Consider families schedule and availability for meetings Egalitarian dialogue. An exchange between the professional and the family member. Do not use expert language, take into consideration translation. Offer them to enter the classroom (coach teacher, role models) Offer family education through community volunteers, or transform the school in a meeting point for families, and local associations. HOW TO ACHIEVE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

23 BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION Creation of Family members associations Make visible minority cultures in the educational centers Improvement of the school- family relationship Generate new role models with members of the Romaní community The school inherited from the industrial society: a) Tend to assimilate all the cultural differences and extend the mainstream culture, OR b) Segregate those who are different


25 ETHOCENTRIC MODEL Modern racism: The Romaní culture is inferior, its features impede their members to access to the resources an opportunities in the same way as the rest of people do. Blaming the families: not interested in education. Homogenization of the student body Different cultures: some of them are subordinated to the mainstream one Assimilation, losing your own identity is the only solution to have educational success.

26 RELATIVIST MODEL Postmodern Racism: the consideration of what is the result of discrimination, social exclusion and inequality as a feature of a particular culture that needs to be preserved. Some scholars today are attempting to legitimize our forced illiteracy by declaring that illiteracy is a part of our cultural identity. (Rose, 1983, p.23) “It is silly for you to enter a university since it would mean leaving the beautiful Romaní tradition of selling in informal markets and that rejection of tradition would be a shame for her family. (Personal communication from a teacher to his Romaní student, October 20, 2002) TRACKING- SEGREGATION FROM THE CLASSROOM- FROM THE SCHOOL

27 EQUALITY OF DIFFERENCES Unity in diversity Respect to cultural difference with equal access and results Egalitarian dialogue among cultures We try to move forward without leaving aside our legacy, without giving up our identity. We need the support of our families and elders… slowly, but all together. In this way, we will reach the same point but without loosing anything. (Romaní Mother)


29 A. Sensibilisation B. Decision-making C. Dream D. Selection of priorities E. Planning F. Monitoring

30 a. Sensibilization Families, teaching staff, administrators, students, volunteers, community members are trained with the basic principles of the project. A collective reflection about the current situation and what would be necessary to be done in order to transform the center into a Learning Community. 30 hours (6 hours during 5 days)

31 b. Decision Making Agreement among the teaching staff Agreement within the school principal’s team Approved by the school board Approved by the majority of the assembly organized by the association of the students’ family members Consensus among the community Administration support

32 c. The Dream. Which is the school you are dreaming about? More mathematics Workshops and trips A swimming pool More courses after graduation A football camp More computers Less fights A cleaner school More books A farm More English

33 d. Selection of Priorities The context is analyzed and the priority areas are selected. Reality is compared with the dream and steps towards it are defined. INTERNET FOR ALL FAMILY MEMBERS EDUCATION SCHOOL OPEN FROM 8 to 20h, incl in the summer

34 INTERACTIVE GROUPS: SOLIDARITY BASED LEARNING INSTEAD OF SEGREGATION AND TRACKING Introduce in the classroom all the interactions that are needed in order to guarantee that students reach high levels of achievement. Heterogeneous groups in the classroom Two dimensions: Instrumental learning and solidarity

35 WORKING COMMISSIONS e. Planning f. Monitoring


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