TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
An Intercultural School – Citizenship, participation and interaction: the resources of a multicultural society
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Aluisi Tosolini, Simone Giusti, Gabriella Papponi Morelli (a cura di)
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
Trento - 2007
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Integration of immigrants students
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
This volume is the result of a participatory planning process involving different schools of all levels in the Province of Grosseto. The schools worked as a collaborative network to offer assistance in addressing educational problems presented by an increasingly, globalized society.
The text is divided into three parts, each of which includes an interesting bibliography and explanatory guides developed by school operators.
In the first part, “Educating in the Global World” defines the coordinates in an educational system that must form new citizens and respond to globalization processes and identifies the following elements as the center of its formative action: intercultural education, the development of key skills and the redefinition of the concept of citizenship.
In the second part, “The School in the Intercultural City”, the central role of the school is manifested in the process of constructing an intercultural city. One important aspect is that the school favors the empowerment of the community by means of an ongoing dialogue with agencies and associations present throughout the territory. Another important role is that the school promotes individual empowerment through the review of intercultural curricula and the realization of orientation courses able to promote the development of those transversal skills that allow one to adapt to continual socio-economic change to achieve personal development to its fullest degree.
The third part, entitled “Out of Place” discusses the difficulties linked to the presence of foreign students in the school.
In this context, it is noted that the mastery of the language tool is not sufficient, in and of itself, to ensure access to citizenship. Equally important is the full possession of digital skills that allow access to a space without frontiers, in which each individual may exercise his/her own rights of citizenship.
A space that, on a smaller scale, is represented by the school, perceived as being a multi-cultural, multi-lingual laboratory, capable of re-inventing itself within an intercultural, logical scheme from the moment students walk through its doors to the first encounters experienced with the diverse cultures to which both the students and the teachers belong.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
This text offers many insights, among which I would highlight the chosen methodologies performed and the presentation of intercultural education as the “normality of education in a global and postmodern society.” (Tosolini).
The work is the result of a collaboration to raise awareness of intercultural issues initiated by the USP of Grosseto, which promoted the establishment of a provincial network in order to train school staff, share experiences and strengthen ties throughout the territory.
The structure of the work is a testimony of the collective commitment of researchers, experts and school operators, who incorporate theory and personal and practical experiences in order to strengthen overall competencies in the field. Each contribution within the book is followed by explanatory guides that summarize and integrate the concepts expressed through the presentation of “good practices” of the schools that, thanks to the detailed descriptions of the operating methodologies offer an insight as to where to begin to program additional initiatives.
Moreover, the text offers the particular merit of addressing the theme of intercultural education based on the well-established premise that "doing" intercultural does not signify responding to phenomena related to migration, nor is its purpose that of promoting the integration of immigrant pupils. Rather, the approach expands even in the absence of foreign students to include the promotion of dialogue and confrontation between cultures, even at a distance, to reflect an updated vision of education for coexistence based on cooperation, exchange and acceptance of diversity in the interests of democratic growth.
In this way, the school becomes that social intellectual envisioned in the text and assumes the responsibility of training the mind of the “global” citizen that must be able to govern metacognitive processes in response to changes in the socio-economic context in order to consolidate its active role in the community in which he/she belongs (local-global).
Each school - this is the basic thesis of the book - is called upon to become a laboratory, where we learn to constructively live with differences in experiencing real world citizenship.
Name of Compiler
Name of Institution
Istituto Polo “L.Bianciardi” - Grosseto
Role in the institution
Teacher of German as a Foreign Language – Coordinator for Intercultural Studies