TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
The Response to Diversity: Possibilities and Limits for School and Social Inclusion
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Martínez Domínguez, Begoña
Teachers, curriculum review and teacher education, 1 (1), 2005
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
University of Granada, 2005
TYPE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Students with learning difficulties
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
This article analyses whether the measures of attention to diversity are being useful for the pursued goal: making real the internationally recognized right that all people have -disregarding their personal and social conditions- to a good basic education.
With the object of making this right effective, schools attempt to combine two inalienable and complementary principles typical of a democratic school and society: a) The principle of attention to diversity, based on the state and its Educative Systems that guarantee to everybody the right to education, recognizing the diversity of their necessities, fighting inequality and contributing with a open and flexible educative model that allows school access and permanence of every student with no exceptions, as well as acceptable school results. b) The principle of inclusion, that demands the recognition of the right of the people to participate with equal opportunities and achievements in basic learning, sharing the same curriculum and a common school space.
This article analyzes the measures of attention to diversity developed in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. This way, it is initially suggested that there are certain cultural factors typical of the Basque Autonomous Community that, from the author's point of view, have facilitated the development of the measures of attention to diversity in a greater dimension in this Autonomous Community than in others. Specifically, it is suggested that the historical existence of a communitarian sentiment, of solidarity towards the people in most need and of respect towards the personal and socio-cultural differences, that would be reflected in the greater development of the aforementioned measures.
The measures are described by making an evaluation of them and by making obvious their main achievements and limitations. Finally, the author exposes her personal opinion and a series of suggestions regarding this topic.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
This work analyses the diverse measures of attention to diversity developed in the Basque Country. It is worth remarking the reflection realized by the author about how the identity and history of the people, in this case, the Basques, can favor a specific way of understanding education and, as such, the development of measures directed towards achieving real and equal opportunities.
Among the measures developed by Associations, Foundations and Institutions that, through several Institutional Plans, attempt to coordinate different interventions with the intention of improving education, these are highlighted:
.- The Basque Program of Voluntary Work (2002).
.- The Council for the integral promotion and participation of the gypsy population in the Basque Country.
.- The Program to guarantee the right to education (Department of Education, Universities and Investigation of the Basque Regional Government, 2003).
An essential element of this work is that it includes the strong and weak points of attention to diversity and, finally, several suggestions are proposed in order to improve the encountered difficulties. Among its strong points are highlighted: the consolidation of the adopted measures to give response to diversity, as effective measures, and the greater amount of resources from public administrations.
Among the weak points it is highlighted that the inadequate application of these measures is contributing to create a double schooling, those students who "are performing well" and those who "do not fit well", "fail" or "do not want to study". Furthermore, it points as dangerous the discredit that is being done to the schools that admit the most diversity, as well as the privatization of the education through charter schools.
To conclude, two main challenges are signaled: achieving the fact that education really reaches to everybody, through a fight against school failure, absenteeism and lack of schooling, and to achieve a good quality, non-ethnocentric educative attention, taking into account the growing number of immigrant students.
Name of Compiler
Rosario del Rey
Name of Institution
University of Seville
Role in the institution