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Session Overview
RN35_04a: Migration, Education, and Inequality II
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Kenneth Horvath, University of Lucerne
Location: BS.G.26
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

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Perception of Educational Inequality among the Children of Immigrants in Three Systems

Dalia Abdelhady2, Amy Lutz1

1Syracuse University, USA; 2Lund University, Sweden

Utilising a phenomenological approach, our paper aims to compare the educational experiences and perceptions of children of immigrants in Germany, France and the US in order to understand the educational inequalities and opportunities for social mobility for the three groups. We focus on children from the largest immigrant groups in each setting: Turks, North Africans and Mexicans respectively. The three groups share low socio-economic resources and a difficult, albeit different, situation in the labour market. Moreover, the three groups (parents and their children) may suffer from discrimination, which could lead parents to invest more in their children’s education or, on the contrary, make young people frustrated and drop out. Our comparison pays close attention to the differences in the educational systems in the three countries and the way these differences prompt experiences that are considerably distinct. In the absence of formal educational tracking in the US, Mexican Americans are found to reflect positively on their educational experiences and the influence their teachers had on their career choices. Tracking in France in Germany, however, yields different results in the two contexts. In France, French North Africans face higher levels of unemployment and stress the restrictions imposed on them by the school system. Children of immigrants from Turkey, on the other hand, put faith in the tracking system as a conduit to good, stable jobs despite encountering discrimination in the labour market. We conclude by stressing the role of teachers and school councils in promoting the role of the educational system in the perceptions of trust and success among the children of immigrants.

Forging and Paving a Future: Immigrant Status and Academic Achievement in Luxembourg

Salvador Rivas, Yanica Reichel, Charlotte Krämer, Ineke Pit-Ten Cate, Antoine Fischbach

University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

In the United States, much has been written about the upward or downward social mobility of the so-called, “New Second Generation”. In Europe, this topic has only recently begun to take shape; mostly in regard to the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. In the context of Luxembourg, however, there is very little literature on this topic even though nearly 50% of its population is now of immigrant status. Though small in geography and population, Luxembourg is a founding member of the E.U. and quite literally in the heart of continental Europe. It hosts a diverse set of immigrant groups, continuously attracting economic and some political immigrants, most notably from Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Portugal. Each of these groups arriving at a specific sociohistorical moment: Italians at the height of the steel industry, former Yugoslavians fleeing war, and Portuguese to meet construction and service industry needs. Consequently, Luxembourg is truly a multilingual and multicultural country that makes for a fascinating microcosm to test and explore existing theories of immigrant integration. Its context presents a unique opportunity to study and extrapolate from to anticipate the needs of immigrants elsewhere.

Using 2016 data from Luxembourg’s school monitoring programme (ÉpStan), we investigate existing and emerging differences in academic achievement among 1st, 2nd, and later generation immigrant groups in Luxembourg. We analyse math and language proficiencies (German and French) among a cohort of secondary school students (9th grade, N=6286). Preliminary results indicate clear generational differences. These are interpreted in relation to immigrant group characteristics and acculturation in Luxembourg. Implications for the new second generation in the European context will be discussed.

Social Justice and/or Intercultural Education? An Italian Case Study

Cinzia Pica-Smith1, Rina Manuela Contini2, Carmen Veloria3, Gabriele Di Francesco4

1Assumption College, Worcester, MA; 2University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 3Suffolk University, Boston, MA; 4University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy

The European discourse on intercultural education (Council of Europe,

2008; 2014; Unesco, 2008) is fully inscribed into Italian educational

regulations (Miur, 2007; 2014), which places an intercultural

perspective at its center and consider schools. In order to address

the current debate regarding the gap between the theoretical

conceptualization and policies and implementation of interculturalism (Kimlicka, 2016;

Modood, 2016; 2017; Barret, 2012; 2013) this paper

connects bodies of literature often separated by discipline or context

- interculturalism and civic integration in Europe, critical theory

and pedagogy, social justice education in the United States - and

offers new conceptual tools to critically analyze

intercultural education as per the European documents and strengthen

intercultural education.

We present a qualitative case study of Italian educators’ understanding and

practice of intercultural education and whether and in what measure they conceptualize intercultural education as a tranformational framework

informed in social justice education that aims to promote more equity

in schools. Drawing on data collected over the period of one academic

year (2014-2015), we apply a critical

lens and social justice framework to analyze how educators take up, or

not, intercultural education in the classroom. We use a case study to offer an opportunity to understand how

Intercultural Education is being interpreted and

implemented “on the ground”.

We found that the abstract nature and the tensions

within the framework, its connotations and socio-political intercultural matrix were reflected in the teachers’ reported practice of intercultural education. This, in turn, impacted their pedagogical practice.

(Re-)Erecting Boundaries Along Religion, Nationality and Ethnicity: An Empirical Focus on High School Classes in Germany and the Students Migration Biography

Lena Kahle

Stiftung Universität Hildesheim, Germany

The research project “Histories in motion – historical learning in the German migration society” by the University of Hildesheim, the University of Paderborn, the Free University Berlin and the Georg-Eckert-Institute in Braunschweig, empirically analysis history learning in different educational institutions in Germany: schools, museums, school-books and non-formal political education.

Main focus of this paper is not specifically educational inequalities because of migration experiences or the teaching of history in schools but the question how teachers re-erect boundaries along religion, nationality and ethnicity in their classrooms.

The Analysis of narrative expert interviews with history teachers reconstructs an image of clearly overwhelmed teaching personnel when it comes to “divers classrooms”: Not only are gendered and social differences a challenge but especially the student’s migration biography seemed difficult to cope with. The classical binarity of we and them is still present and negates the student’s orientation and knowledge as relevant whereas the teacher sees his or her task in deconstructing national identity and historical references of the identified other – the student with migration biography. Hence, belonging is not negotiated between student and teacher but is still an ascribed origin.

Methodologically interesting is the analysis of conflict and demarcation lines by knowledge structures in the classrooms: at what point statements or knowledges are considered not worthy and not relevant to the dominant society? How to reconstruct implicit process of creating boundaries, that are explicitly named as religious, ethnic or national differences?

By presenting empirical examples of the re-erection of boundaries in classrooms, I want to discuss ideas of future perspectives on creating shared knowledge and the valorisations of the other’s perspective.

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