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ERIC Number: EJ1128559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1855-9719
Rethinking the Role of Pedagogical Assistants: Establishing Cooperation between Roma Families and Schools in Serbia
Starcevic, Jelena; Dimitrijevic, Bojana; Macura-Milovanovic, Suncica
Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, v6 n4 p73-91 2016
The aim of the present paper is to examine the risks and challenges related to the cooperation of pedagogical assistants (PAs) with Roma parents/families and their work with Roma pupils, as well as to offer further insight into ways to overcome these risks and challenges. Roma pupils and parents/families face numerous difficulties in education, which are reflected in prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. The education policy measure of introducing PAs, formerly known as Roma teaching assistants, to the Serbian education system aimed to contribute to the learning and social participation of Roma pupils and to establish cooperation between school staff and Roma parents. The further segregation of Roma pupils and the reduced engagement of teachers in supporting Roma pupils and fostering communication with Roma parents are seen as possible risks related to the engagement of PAs. In order to minimise the risks, we propose a framework for defining and understanding the roles of teachers and PAs from an intercultural perspective. Relying on two concepts--intercultural sensitivity (IS) and intercultural competence (IC)--we elaborate the necessity of perceiving cultural differences in accordance with an ethnorelative worldview, on the part of both teachers and PAs. In addition, we outline the cognitive, affective and behavioural aspects of IC that we believe teachers and PAs should possess. Further recommendations regarding the engagement of PAs and the minimisation of risks and challenges are proposed.
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education. University of Ljubljana Kardeljeva plošcad 16. Slovenia. Tel: +386-1-5892-344; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Serbia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A