About the project
About the project
Building improved social environments in schools
To achieve inclusiveness and social well-being of pupils and students with migrant background in secondary schools, it is vital to implement tailored and practical approaches at local level, to boost the social competences of students and their parents, and school staffs as well, and to reduce or mitigate the risk on this long-recognised exclusion of migrants.
Towards a better future
Most of pan-European countries schooling faces substantial challenges into the future. It is compulsory on every society to provide its best efforts to certifying that the school system is as efficient as possible considering all populations, so that this and future generations may achive their potentials.
There is a need to promote an inclusive school for recently arrived pupils with an immigrant background. For newly arrived allophone children from itinerant families and travellers, the objective is to allow schooling in an ordinary environment considering the specific needs of these pupils, by setting up support systems to promote learning the language of the hosting country, the language of schooling, and educational continuity.
The project FAIR SCHOOL aims to improve the integration of students with an immigrant background and improve the overall social cohesion of the teenage population. To that end, the project generates and implements methodological tools.
The unique aspects of this initiative rely on the establishment of pro-active socio-cultural co-curricular techniques that can effectively bridge cultural gaps between migrants and the host society and to teach how to live in a diverse society for both minority and majority population at grassroots level.
The project will address this issue from the integral perspective, working not only with students but also with parents who have an enormous impact on their children’s behaviour when meeting and interacting with peers coming from diverse environments.
Who is the project for FAIR SCHOOL for?
Pupils and students
The education of newly arrived allophone children is rooted in significant elements, among them the access to education and schooling as such. The project FAIR SCHOOL addresses the schooling dimension, and especially, proposes a model for improved social cohesion.
While immigration has always existed in pan-European countries, it has been at the heart of debates and even controversies in the past decade. These migratory movements specially bring with them children, with all diverse and distinctive backgrounds, and all with fundamental rights. The right to education is one of the most important. Today, the schooling of these children may be revealing “a pathway of hurdles” for a number of children and their families with an immigrant background.
FAIR SCHOOL engages 500+ pupils in different pilots of the project’s instruments in the participating schools, leading to their Increased empathy, improved communication skills, self-advocacy and sense of belonging due to improved relationships and community building.
Teachers and school staffs
Recent studies reveal that the schooling of recently arrived children with an immigrant background presents socio-institutional issues and challenges for the teaching and school staff. The examination of the research literature on the schooling needs of these children, and statistics relating to the school results, reveal a paradoxical work of the educational institution, which generates at the same time selection (sometime even discrimination) and democratisation. The system for categorising intervention programmes with the aforementioned pupils is characterised by low consistency, which is demonstrated by the public action principles’ lack of logic. In particular, the failure to consider the migratory prism is underlined.
FAIR SCHOOL promotes interviews, gathers testimonials from teachers and schools, but also from actors from the educational and administrative system, with the aim of compiling elements highlighting the reality on the ground vis-à-vis these questions and the solutions that could be implemented to overcome identified needs.
FAIR SCHOOL is rooted in the need to move away from the objective of mastering the hosting country’s cultural environment exclusively, in favour of also integrating several other factors, notably sociological and economic, which contribute to the smooth running of the inclusion pathways. To that end, teaching and school staff are engaged inclusively in all the project’s activity, and play a significant role in sharing experience, exploiting the results, and multiplying the project’s key learnings.
The parental sphere
Cooperation mechanisms between families and the schooling sphere generates roles’ expectations vis-à-vis parents who are unequally endowed to meet them. This is often the case of immigrant families, especially in the recent decade of exceptional migrant flows from a variety of countries from Africa to the middle-east. In disadvantaged neighbourhoods, where most share the difficulties encountered by the working classes but also have specificities linked to their country of origin and migratory trajectory. While they are ambitious for their child, they do not always have the competences required to address effectively with needs in schooling, including from the perspective of the relationship to be built with officials from the educational institution sphere. Given the problematic of this context, parents occupy a position at odds, sometimes on the far margins of the school, as if their involvement and mobilisation, although very real, remained “unnoticed”, risking their exclusion and stigmatisation.
FAIR SCHOOL raises awareness and knowledge of parents on their role regarding children’s behaviour in the context of tolerance and open-mindedness toward more inclusive schools. Also, the project raises awareness on suggested pioneering pedagogical approaches for social inclusion through innovative multicultural communication models.
The civil society and authorities
Project FAIR SCHOOL includes three Civil Society Organisations (Netherlands, Malta and Turkey), whose networking strategy ensures the engagement, connection and empowerment of the parental sphere, in support of schools and liaising instruments between them and governmental authorities.
Recent pan-European studies and evaluation processes of the schooling of allophone children newly arrived reveals the (relative) interest of civil society in this topical subject. For example, in France, from October 2020 to February 2021, the ‘Grenelle de l’Education’ gathered around a common project for its school by relying on the contribution of all actors of the school sphere: teachers, staff, parents of students, unions and the civil society.
FAIR SCHOOL develops at the interface with social, socio-economic and education policies, impacting children and their parental sphere. Across six countries, the project establishes dialogue and cooperation with a wide variety of actors to respond to the diverse needs of the target group.
The project FAIR SCHOOL proposes to:
- To enhance the capacity of schools in addressing social inclusion through implementing FAIR SCHOOL schemes in local schools in 4 EU countries.
- To design a set of co-curriculum activities based on restorative practices, social & emotional learning approaches that can be implemented in classroom and school circles.
- To increase skills of school educators on inclusive methodologies and pedagogical approaches for fostering pupils’ integration and mutual understanding.
- To improve the pupils and their parents’ understanding of multicultural environments at school. Both pupils and their parents will increase consciousness and knowledge on their role in the children’s behaviour in the context of tolerance and open-mindedness toward diversity.
- To raise awareness on the problem of social cohesion in multicultural schools and to promote cultural diversity at schools at different levels: general public, professional associations, public admin, etc.
The most relevant results are summarised as follows:
A set of actionable material and co-curricular activities aimed at boosting intercultural communication and tolerance amongst migrant and native-born students based on innovative approaches such as restorative practices and social and emotional learning. By merging different elements of restorative justice practices, narrative pedagogy, social and emotional learning, FAIR SCHOOL methodology will develop a comprehensive approach towards diversity in class-rooms.
By application of restorative practices, such as circles of peace, an active participation of all relevant actors could be ensured (native, migrant students, their parents, school community, neighbourhood community if necessary).
Narrative pedagogy applied together with the restorative justice methods allows to send “story-message” of both native and migrant students to broader communities and to identify problems faced, misinterpretations of words or behaviour.
Social-emotional learning within the practice of restorative justice fosters both-side tolerance, understanding, communication and more confidence between students, parents and school.
Capacity Building Programme
An online capacity building for teachers and educators (pedagogist, psychologists, sociologists, etc.) on the FAIR SCHOOL schemes: as a result, communication and multicultural techniques of teachers that have participated in online trainings and FAIR SCHOOL courses will be improved; at least 100 teachers trained through online courses and 25 teachers trained during on-site transnational shared learning event.
A set of serious games to be implemented at class level for the involvement of pupils and their parents in the FAIR SCHOOL methodology. These games will promote a better understanding of multicultural societies at different levels: familiar, school environment and professional.
FAIR SCHOOL is remarkably impactful on the dimensions outlined below.
Increased capacity of the schools to be responsive against the multicultural classrooms and thus boosting the level of social inclusion of students coming from migrant and different socio-economic backgrounds through pilot implementation of the FAIR SCHOOL co-curricular activities in selected secondary schools in the participating countries.
Engaging, connecting and empowering 500 pupils in the different pilot experiences via the FAIR SCHOOL schemes in the participating schools leading to their increased empathy, improved communication skills, self-advocacy and sense of belonging due to improved relationships and community building.
Awareness at the educational level of the possibility of improving in a real way the methodological strategies to address the problem of social inclusion and multicultural tolerance and communication amongst the migrant and native-born students
Increased awareness in 6 European countries (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Malta, The Netherlands and Poland) on the new pedagogical approaches for social inclusion of the migrant pupils through innovative multicultural communication schemes amongst migrant and native-born students and their parents.