In this paper we first provide an overview of recent Italian migration to Malta and we then focus our attention on the experiences and perceptions of 42 Learning Support Educators (LSEs) in relation to the inclusion of Italian learners in Maltese secondary, primary and pre-primary schools. Through quantitative findings from a questionnaire and qualitative reflections based on three focus groups we investigate linguistic and socialisation issues, as well as pedagogical practices, and how these lead to the inclusion of Italian nationals in Maltese schools. Results indicate that inclusion in a bilingual schooling system, characterised by the interplay between English and Maltese, presents several challenges for Italian students. While knowledge of English is highly important for their scholastic attainment, Maltese has a fundamental role too especially for socialisation. Problems with language competence also lead to other difficulties. In a system which is often geared towards achieving results in high-stakes examination and in which students are ranked on the basis of achievement, a rethinking of some of the principles that guide education is required, through inclusive pedagogical paradigms based on discovering and giving value to the educational potential of all learners.

When migrant learners are Italian: perceptions of learning support educators on the inclusion of Italians in Maltese school. Quando l’alunno migrante è italiano: percezioni degli educatori di supporto all’apprendimento sull’inclusione degli Italiani nelle scuole maltesi

Barbara Baschiera;
2020

Abstract

In this paper we first provide an overview of recent Italian migration to Malta and we then focus our attention on the experiences and perceptions of 42 Learning Support Educators (LSEs) in relation to the inclusion of Italian learners in Maltese secondary, primary and pre-primary schools. Through quantitative findings from a questionnaire and qualitative reflections based on three focus groups we investigate linguistic and socialisation issues, as well as pedagogical practices, and how these lead to the inclusion of Italian nationals in Maltese schools. Results indicate that inclusion in a bilingual schooling system, characterised by the interplay between English and Maltese, presents several challenges for Italian students. While knowledge of English is highly important for their scholastic attainment, Maltese has a fundamental role too especially for socialisation. Problems with language competence also lead to other difficulties. In a system which is often geared towards achieving results in high-stakes examination and in which students are ranked on the basis of achievement, a rethinking of some of the principles that guide education is required, through inclusive pedagogical paradigms based on discovering and giving value to the educational potential of all learners.
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Descrizione: In questo articolo vogliamo offrire una panoramica della recente migrazione italiana a Malta e focalizzarci sulle esperienze e le percezioni di 42 educatori di supporto all’apprendimento (LSEs) maltesi, in relazione all’inclusione degli studenti italiani nella scuola materna, primaria e secondaria. In base alla analisi dei dati quantitativi e qualitativi emersi mettiamo in luce questioni linguistiche, di natura socio-relazionale e pratiche pedagogiche, che portano all'inclusione dei bambini e ragazzi italiani che frequentano la scuola a Malta. Di fronte ad un sistema educativo fortemente orientato al superamento di esami e in cui gli studenti vengono classificati sulla base della propria preparazione, si sente l’urgente necessità di una nuova riflessione sulla scuola, di un ripensamento di alcuni principi che governano l’insegnamento, sulla base di paradigmi pedagogici inclusivi fondati sulla scoperta e la valorizzazione del potenziale formativo di tutti gli studenti.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5002092
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