Education Right: a social justice grounded theory in Italian Compulsory School

Ghirotto, Luca (2008) Education Right: a social justice grounded theory in Italian Compulsory School. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Education, Social Justice, democracy, social rights, and capabilities. Those are the keywords of this study about the processes of guaranteeing the education right. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, in terms of education and pedagogical aims, I could not support a theory, even if is highlighting the importance of it for the education and training contexts. Handling what are the things that really happen, it is necessary. During Chapter 2, I shall explain more fully how is possible to study abstract concepts such as democracy and social rights. Here, it will be sufficient to say that democracy is a situation in the same way as education is. What is the situation that involves the democratic social education right? This situation is the school environment, the last termination of the state, which is committed to increase education and the culture of a country. I then will choose a particular event of that situation as the inclusion of immigrant students, because this event will make the process related to the guaranteeing of the education right, particularly evident. Following the methodical steps I shall introduce in the third chapter, I have constructed a Grounded Theory (GT) through which I shall not only say that schools live in a conflict among social rights to be guaranteed and systematic and political difficulties to make their intervention effective. Already the newspapers refer that, for example those articles I mentioned at the beginning of the introduction. I bring to the attention the ways this conflict exists, outlining the characteristics that are in accordance or not with what is declared by and what is lived in schools. This research has as a result a theory I have named: “structuring conditions”. Indeed, what happens in Italian schools when a foreigner student arrives in the course of the year? How does the school react and how to try to secure the education right? The “structuring of the conditions” explains what happens in Italian schools regard the phenomenon of inclusion of immigrant students. This process evolves according two dynamics: the first is the “sharing of responsiveness” and the second one is the “structuring of educational priorities”. These two dynamics explain what occurs within the teachers’ lived experiences and within the school as an organization. Sharing the sensitivity or responsiveness means that the process of welcoming starts from an attitude that only few teachers have shown: it is taking the load of educational projects that tend to guarantee the right to learning Italian and to construct a well coexistence with all the other students inside the school. Many teachers are still deaf towards these issues. For structuring of priorities, I mean, however, that the processes of activation are led by a very clear priority given to the wellbeing of immigrant students, choice that would set out to build a more effective welcoming and training. In Chapter 4, I will describe the process of schools’ activating. These processes have to do with the arrival of foreigners seen as a problem and not as their right. In other words, when it becomes a problem then the school raises the question of ensuring a right. In addition, not only because increasingly there are schools with a very high presence of immigrants, but also because the continuous arrival leads to organizational confusion and difficulties to be remedied. Does schools guarantee the education right effectively? If the right is the right to a social minimum, a foreign child who enters during the year, has its classroom, is included in school life, like everyone, then the answer is yes. The right to enrol in school is given to all but the education right also has another side that is the fact that at the end of schooling everyone should have all the skills acquired to become a citizen. To do this, the school should provide a very good and improving education to all, not just the social minimum. The research reveals that schools lean to ensure not the education right, a very remote target if the 42.5% of foreign students are in delay in or abandon training. Rather, the process through which the school tends to guarantee the education right is making structural, shared and of primary importance what would be the prerequisites of a climate suitable for work. I will define the prerequisites in chapter 4: those are the educational aspects, without which the pure and simple Italian learning would be insolvent to bridge the gaps. Furthermore, it would not be possible learning to stay together, to live in a place educational priorities may build. Making learners autonomous in language and sociability is the warranty of the education right. Moreover, in this context, we would recognise conditions, which are the responsiveness some teachers show, and priorities, that from a last minute answer would become systematic responses to an emergency.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Cognitive and Brain Sciences
PhD Cycle:XXI
Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PED/01 PEDAGOGIA GENERALE E SOCIALE
Repository Staff approval on:15 Jun 2009 12:20

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