Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of Product
Do immigrant students succeed? Evidence from Italy and France based on PISA 2006
Name of Author(s)
Marina Murat – University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Name of Producer
RE CENT – Center for Economic Research
Date of Production
November 2011
Language of the review
Language of the product
Italian, English
Thematic Area
Integration of immigrants students
Target Group
Headmasters, Teachers
Description of Contents
This paper states that the immigrant gap in education (negative difference between immigrants’ and natives’ scores) is widespread in both the countries analyzed: Italy and France. While its implications are clear, unequal opportunities in labour markets, its causes are widely debated. This article uses data from PISA 2006 on the three fields of science, mathematics and reading to analyze negative difference between immigrants and natives scores. The author studies the education system in two contiguous European countries because they have similarities with migration inflows and with schooling institutions, based on tracking. (On the contrary one relevant difference is the historical length of the immigration phenomenon, which dates back to before World War II in France and to only the mid-nineties of last century in Italy). The results show that the school system upholds a separation between students with different backgrounds and ethnicities. In particular immigrants tend to be lag behind natives in measures ranging from one to almost two school years. It’s important to emphasize that in both Italy and France immigrants students attend mainly non academic schools and, especially in Italy, they repeat grades more than natives. In France gaps are high in all fields and the smallest gap concern reading. These findings do not differ significantly between first and second generation students. An explanation of this is that a relevant proportion of the immigrant population in France originates from French ex colonies. Differently in Italy, where immigrants from ex colonies are a restricted minority, the widest negative gaps are in the fields of reading. The author highlights that the problem is complicated and difficult to face, but she suggests a strategy mainly based on a teaching support in mathematics and science in France and in reading in Italy. This strategy could really help immigrant students to converge to natives’ standards
This interesting paper is structured as follows. One section presents the data and some descriptive statistics then the second one describes the estimation strategy adopted and the expected results. The next part presents the results and last section concludes. That means that the paper is complete and is very rich in information. It is highly applicable to Italian school where support teaching is indispensable especially to help immigrants who can’t speak the Italian language.

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.