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“Roma culture”, school education and teacher training. Calin Rus Intercultural Institute Timisoara, Romania www.intercultural.ro. Structure. Key assumptions concerning the relationship of school and “Roma culture” “Roma culture”? Impact of teachers / parents acculturation orientations

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roma culture school education and teacher training

“Roma culture”, school education and teacher training

Calin Rus

Intercultural Institute

Timisoara, Romania

www.intercultural.ro

structure
Structure
  • Key assumptions concerning the relationship of school and “Roma culture”
  • “Roma culture”?
  • Impact of teachers / parents acculturation orientations
  • Teacher training
key assumptions
Key assumptions
  • school can and should do something to take into account "Roma culture"
  • teachers should know more about “Roma culture”
roma culture in school and educational process
Roma culture in school and educational process
  • Potential benefits
    • Make school a friendlier environment for Roma children
    • Build self-esteem of Roma children
    • Stimulate positive attitudes towards Roma children
    • Enhance chances of successful learning
  • Obstacles
    • School structures, rules, curriculum
    • Teachers have little knowledge
    • Hard to find support within the Roma community
teachers and roma culture
Teachers and “Roma culture”
  • Many teachers want to learn about Roma culture:
    • Curiosity
    • Understanding the behaviours of Roma children and their parents
  • Search for easy solutions and ready-made recipes
roma culture
“Roma culture”
  • Diversity and complexity
  • Risk of a simplistic essentialist perspective; culturalism; traditional / modern culture; culture of poverty and social exclusion?
  • How to relate to the currently ongoing identity-building process
  • Identity dynamics and heteroidentification
  • Understanding “Roma culture” / Understanding Roma reality (situational and contextualised)
  • Instead of understanding “Roma culture”, a pragmatic approach focused on what is educationally productive for Roma children
consequences of discrimination
Consequences of discrimination
  • Social, economical and psychological
  • A very destructive consequence: internalisation of the negative image of Roma and adoption of negative behaviours that confirm the prediction of the negative stereotype and generates a vicious cycle that affects deeply the individuals
  • Consequences for learning:
    • Lower teachers expectations
    • Stereotype threat

7

strategies to maintain a positive social identity
Strategies to maintain a positive social identity
  • Individual strategy – leaving the group, refusing Roma identity, assimilation into another group
  • Collective strategies:
    • Social creativity – identify criteria that put Roma in a favourable situation
    • Redefining characteristics – redefining stereotype characteristics to put them in a positive light
    • Social competition – public requests for a process to change the overall relationship between groups

8

majority minority relations
Majority / minority relations

Intercultural Communication

ASSIMILATION

INTEGRATION

Cultural Identity

MARGINALISATION

SEGREGATION / SEPARATION

Adapted from J. Berry

interactive acculturation model
Interactive Acculturation Model

Majority

Integration

Assimilation

Segregation

Exclusion

Individualism

R. Bourhis

Minority

Integration

Assimilation

Separation

Anomie

Individualism

1 teachers and change a misleading model

Teaching practice reproducing or ignoring inequalities and oppression

Teaching practice promoting egalitarian values and acknowledging the shameful past

1. Teachers and change: a misleading model

TRAINING

Oppressive policies or policies deliberately ignoring events, groups…

+

social conformism

Affirmation of egalitarian values, public acknowledgment of the shameful past

reflected in policies

+

personal values and opinions

1 teachers and change
1. Teachers and change

Agreement with values of social justice and antidiscrimination

Committed and

effective teachers

(believe in what they do and

do what they believe)

Convinced but ineffective teachers

(share the values but, for various reasons, fail to implement)

Implementation of required changes

Resistant teachers

(various strategies of avoiding implementation based on non adherence to value system)

Superficial compliance or

« organized hypocrisy »

(implement changes but do not believe in them)

4 consequences for training
4. Consequences for training

Agreement with egalitarian values

Committed and

effective teachers

(believe in what they do and

do what they believe)

Convinced but ineffective teachers

(share the values but, for various reasons, fail to implement)

Implementation of required changes

Resistant teachers

(various strategies of avoiding implementation based on non adherence to value system)

Superficial compliance or

« organized hypocrisy »

(implement changes but do not believe in them)

6 conclusions
6. Conclusions
  • Culture is important but the perspective teachers have on culture is crucial
  • Teachers need general historical and cultural background information
  • Delivering anthropological and historical content does not necessarily generate changes in attitudes and in teaching practice
  • Balance is needed between background knowledge and
    • skills to adapt to the specific situation
    • awareness of psychological mechanisms which can block or enhance learning and positive social relations