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ERIC Number: EJ1027110
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-5986
Intercultural Education in the European Context: Key Remarks from a Comparative Study
Catarci, Marco
Intercultural Education, v25 n2 p95-104 2014
The article focuses on some findings of a comparative study carried out by a network of scholars and researchers who are active in the field of intercultural education in the European context in the main "old immigration countries" (United Kingdom, France and Germany), "new immigration countries" (Italy, Spain and Greece) and some northern European countries (Netherlands and Sweden). The scholars involved in the study highlight that a structural "segregation" of students with different cultural and social backgrounds can be largely observed in European schools. In fact, the long tradition of cultural and language homogeneity in several European education systems has in many cases led to the isolation of immigrant students in schools when they are placed in the contexts of lower social and economic opportunities. Another issue highlighted by the study relates to social equity as a major challenge for intercultural education. Inequalities between immigrant students and their native peers must be addressed by an intercultural approach that is able not only to promote cultural understanding but can also provide effective opportunities for immigrant students, challenging the problems of lack of achievement among immigrant students. A gap between statements of intercultural principles and assimilationist practices has also emerged from the study. Principles on intercultural perspectives in Europe often appear to be very innovative and exist on a progressive and democratic level. However, in the European context, real practices are often implemented under "assimiliationist" and "compensatory" viewpoints. Finally, the study raises fundamental questions about the critical revision of the project of European society. Indeed, one of the major current challenges in European education systems will be overcoming a persistent Eurocentric setting, building effective responses for all the students and providing all the pupils with skills that are indispensable for full active citizenship in an interdependent and pluralistic Europe.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France; Germany; Greece; Italy; Netherlands; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom