Sustainable education patterns and minority youth’s sense of belongingness in the Enlarged Europe: a comparative perspective.

di Bello Barbara Giovanna
Keep in mind always the present you are constructing. It should be the future you want."
Alice Walker
Change must take place through evolution; through educating the young people of today, we can only hope that the adults of tomorrow will make the right choice.”[1]
young girl, 16, The United Kingdom
This paper assumes that effective access of young migrants to hosting
Countries’ education system will contribute to shaping their sense of community and improve both their social well being (personal level) ) and their active citizenship (social level).
In the first part the paper introduces the basic concepts and explains the relevant role of the EU Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 in enhancing Young migrants’ real access to education. Then the paper   deepens the data concerning the Italian and German systems, collected in Official Reports of the Eu Institutions[2], illustrating the educational gap that exists   between hosting Country’s students and migrants ones.
In the third part  the paper mentions some interventions adopted in the frame of the Council of Europe promoting Youth access to Education, suggesting how non formal methods of education may  contribute  to foster the active participation of young migrants in daily society. 
Part I: Assumptions and definitions
This paper assumes that effective access of young migrants to hosting
Countries’ education system will contribute to shaping their sense of community and improve both their social well being (personal level) ) and their active citizenship (social level).
In the first part the paper introduces the basic concepts and explains the relevant role of the EU Racial Equality Directive 2000/43 in enhancing Young migrants’ real access to education. Then the paper   deepens the data concerning the Italian and German systems, collected in Official Reports of the Eu Institutions[3], illustrating the educational gap that exists   between hosting Country’s students and migrant ones.
In the conclusions the paper mentions some interventions adopted in the frame of the Council of Europe promoting Youth access to Education, suggesting how non formal methods of education may integrate the institutional system in fostering the active participation of young migrants in daily society. 
2. Starting Point
The starting point of this paper are the findings of a piece of Community Psychology research (Zani, Cicognani, Albanesi, 2004) in the field of Community Psichology research conducted on a sample of 567 high schools students living in North East Italy.
This study focused on the role of sense of community on social participation among adolescents and young adults (high school and university students) and on their impact on social well being.
The study shows that a deep Sense of Community (SoC) impactson Social Well Being (SWB) andthat both of them affect the rate of Youth active Citizenship. School and University are considered among the first places where SoC and SWB may be strengthen. For this reason an effort is needed to include Young nationals and migrants in the education system.
2. Theoretical background
The concept of “Sense of Community” is a debate topic within a number of disciplines (e.g. psychology, sociology, social work, political sciences, European studies, etc.)[4]. The term is used to describe feelings of belonging to different kinds of communities (e.g. social organizations, formal and informal, that are bounded by a physical or geographical location, – like the local community, the town or city, the nation, extra-national entities like the European Union, the neighbourhood, the school, – or are based on common interests, goals or needs, – like sport groups, political groups, volunteering groups, etc.).
In the context of EU studies, Sense of Community is very much related to the concept of Europeaness and European Citizenship, as well as considered a central value and ideal, and in both cases, it has been the topic of considerable research and intervention policies in the frame of the European Union and of the Council of Europe[5].
In the field of Community Psychology the psychologist Seymour B. Saradon in 1974 defined it as “the perception of similarity with others, a recognized interdependence, a willingness to maintain such interdependence offering or making for others what is expected from us, the feeling to belong to a totally stable and reliable structure”) and proposed that Psychological Sense of Community become the conceptual center for the psychology of community, asserting that it "is one of the major bases for self-definition”.
 McMillan and Chavis (1986) proposed a “4-D model” including four components:
·        Membership, composed by five elements (Boundaries, Emotional safety, A sense of belonging and identification, Personal investment , A common symbol system) and which can be defined as the “feeling of being part of a community” (territorial community or relational community). It includes perception of shared boundaries, history and symbols; feeling of emotional safety and personal investment in the community.
·        Influence, identified with a mutual process, in which individuals are empowered to participate to community life, giving their own contribution to a certain group and, at the same time, the group cohesiveness depends on its  influence over the members of the community.
·        Integration and fulfilment of needs: the benefits that people derive from their membership to a community (a place where they can satisfy some needs as a group or as community members).
Shared emotional connection, defined as sharing of a common history, which include a list of seven features (Contact hypothesis, Quality of interaction,  Closure to event, Shared valent event hypothesis, Investment, Effect of honor and humiliation on community members., Spiritual bond).
Even if only few authors investigated sense of community and its relevance for young people (e.g. Pretty et al., 1996; Chipuer et al., 1999; Zani et al., 2001, 2004), they persuade that sense of community may have an impact on relevant aspects of adolescents’ well being (e.g. mental and physical health, health risk behaviours, social integration and adaptation) and developmental outcomes (e.g. educational achievement)[6].
The study conducted by Prof. Elvira Cicognani’s team of research studied “adolescents’ (students) sense of belonging to (territorial) community (e.g. country or city), considering it not only as a geographical context, but as the locus of meaningful social relations for adolescents (Puddifoot, 1996), and using a qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative approach (Albanesi et al., 2005; Cicognani et al., 2006)”[7].
From the studyit emerges that adolescents’ sense of community have a number of dimensions: Sense of Belonging; Support and Emotional connection in the community;  Support and emotional connection with peers; Satisfaction of needs and opportunities for involvement;  Opportunities for influence. “Focus group research confirmed the opportunity of distinguishing emotional connection referred to the community and to the peer group, the latter being a more significant context for meaningful emotional relationships during this developmental period; moreover, we found that, even though adolescents perceive of having limited influence over their community, they would be interested in having more opportunities for exerting influence. Actually, the subscale “Opportunities for influence” obtains the highest scores, confirming the importance of providing youngsters more opportunities for active involvement in their community contexts.
Social well being
A number of writes have attempted to articulate what might be meant by Social Well Being. Keyes (1998) distinguished 5 dimensions:
·        social integration: the degree to which people feel they have something in common with others and they belong to their own community. Social integration requires the construction of a sense of belonging to a collective and the perception of a common fate. Individuals who score higher on this dimension, should perceive the neighborhood as safer and people more reliable, and should be more involved in the care of their life context. Social integration, according to this definition, should promote (and be affected by) social involvement and participation.
·        social contribution: the feeling of being a vital member of the society, with something important to offer to the world. Individuals who score higher on this dimensions should perceive themselves as active members of their society, capable of providing significant contributions to others; moreover, they should feel more responsible toward their society. Social contribution enhances individuals’ involvement and participation in the community (Keyes, 1998).
·        social acceptance: trusting others, and having favorable opinions on the human nature. Individuals who score higher on this dimension hold favorable opinions and expectations toward other people.
·        social actualization: the evaluation of the potentials of society; the idea that society has potentials that come true through institutions and citizens. Individuals scoring higher on this dimensions hold the belief that the society is evolving in a positive way, and have positive opinions toward its institutions.
·        social coherence: it refers to the perception of the quality and the organization of social world. Higher scores on this dimension are related to the attempt to better understand the world and its functioning, and also people from different cultures and traditions.
Martin Seligman (2002) proposed that three aspects should be taken into consideration in any analysis concerning well being: positive subjective experiences, positive individual qualities and traits and the characteristics of positive institutions, organizations and communities.
As for the “”Sense of Community” research, studies on social well being has been limited mainly on adult populations (Keyes, 1998).
The study conducted by Prof. Cicognani on Italian adolescents and young adults (students) moved from Keyes’s (1998) model. The results generally showed that scores on social well being of Italian youngsters are generally at average levels.
The Role of formal education in the Enlarged Europe
Why Institutional Education may play a fundamental role in building/ improving the sense of Community of Young people and subsequently the social well being of migrants students?
There is a consensus concerning the need to tackle exclusion mechanisms in the education system and to enhance integration through education.
The right to education[8]ESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, adopted by the General Conference on 14 December 1960,   principles of non-discrimination and universal access to education are considered to be the cornerstones of the right to education and equality of opportunity and treatment.
A Global Campaign for Education was launched in year 2006
Equal Opportunities for All in Education and Employment ” organized by the Italian Equality Body against Racial Discrimination (UNAR)
[11] is recognizedglobally as one of the fundamental rights. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states everyone’s right to education. According to UN[9] and new activities promoting equal opportunities in education have been launched in the frame of the Programme “2007-Year of Equal Opportunities for all”[10], as the event “
 School and educational Institutes are micro communities where migrants students start to perceive the sense of  belonging to a peer group and shape the sense of friendship. Moreover both identification and attachment are more easily produced on the level of personal relations and local communities. The bigger the community, the harderit is to enhance the sense of belonging.
In order to achieve these results the education system needs  to undertake an effective inclusive and proactive process.
An updated study conducted in the Veneto region of Northeast Italy (Vieno, Alessio; Perkins, Douglas; Smith, Thomas;  Santinello, Massimo) shows significant differences in school Sense of Community at the student, class, and school levels and demonstrates the important role played by democratic school practices ( e.g. student participation in making rules and organizing events, freedom of expression, and the perceived fairness of rules and teachers).
Also in the European Studies on Sense of Community, it is very much stressed the gap between the normative side of European integration (European Union) and the sense of community among the Union’s Youth citizens ( Union of states and citizens), which disattends the expectations expressed in the  EU  motto itself , “Unified in diversity”.
EU Anti-discrimination Policy
In spite of the aforesaid theorization, institutional education appears to have a twofold effect on the situation of youth migrants and ethnic minorities. On the one hand, education offers the opportunity to get ahead in society. Special programmes (e.g. language instruction and intercultural programmes) can facilitate learning and foster the integration process by building bridges between communities and individuals from diverse backgrounds. On the other hand, education reproduces inequalities if discriminatory practices, such as exclusion and segregation, lead to lower educational attainments of disadvantaged minority groups[14].
Many National reports offer definitions of discrimination and several of them refer to the Council Directive (2000/43/EC) on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of "racial" or ethnic origin. This Directive required Member States to establish a legal framework to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin,
The objective scope of the Directive 2000/43/EC includes employment, occupation and vocational training; social protection, including social security and healthcare; social advantages; education; and access to and supply of goods and services which are available to the public, including housing, in order to ensure a minimum standard of protection in these areas for all Member States. For the purpose of the Directive, in the European literature[15]education treatment, as well as access to all types and to all levels of vocational guidance, vocational training, advanced vocational training and retraining, including practical work experience.  there is a consensus on a wider interpretation of the term “ education”, which covers equal
Therefore it borrows from earlier EU sex equality legislation a provision that shifts the burden of proof from the complainant to the respondent once facts have been established ‘from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination’.
According to art. 13 of the Racial Equality Directive, Member States were compelled to create an Equality Body for the promotion of equal treatment, the monitoring of discrimination cases and possibly for implementing conciliation procedures.
It is difficult to assess to what degree discriminatory practices may influence differences in educational performance and outcome between different ethnic groups. For sure several studies give evidence that a stronger Sense of Community and a higher Social Well Being impact the education achievement[20]. It goes without saying that the discriminatory attitudes and practices undermine both of them.
For this reason the EU Antidiscrimination Directives and the National Legislations implemented in Member States can be considered milestones
for enhancing the effective access of all Young people to education and to provide them with a better standard of cultural and social participation (social well being) .
National Implementation of the Directive 2000/43/EC
There are significant differences across the EU regarding the implementation of the EU Anti- discrimination Legislation, but concerning the two Member States analysed in this presentation, Italy and Germany, they don’t seem to have considerable differences.
In Italy the Directive 2000/43/EC was implemented with the Government Decree N. 215of 9 July 2003. Concerning the equality in the education environment, it Implements the principle of equal treatment regardless of racial or ethnic origin.
Germany implemented the Directive on 14th 2006, long time after the infringement procedure for lack of communication on the implementation of the Directive started by European Commission against Germany, Luxembourg, Finland and Austria.
Both the national Legislations adopt the phrasing of the Directive regarding the main definitions of discrimination and both include the field of the Education within their objective scope. Apart from these similarities, the subjective scope of the German law is significantly wider.
In fact it extends the protection in education field against racial and ethnic discriminations as well as against the ones based on religion or opinion, age, disability, sexual orientation. This allows a better strategy   to combat multiple discrimination cases, consisting in any combination of discrimination on the grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.
Also, several EU-supported projects which aim to combat discrimination and racism are currently taking place in both Member States, such as EQUAL Initiatives by the European Social Found (ESF) or others in relation to Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty of 1999.
Part. II Germany and Italy: a comparative perspective
The data regarding Italy are here and there integrated by the results of the Dossier edited by CARITAS Migrantes 2006 (expressly highlighted in footnotes), which adopted the same collecting data categories.
The Documents and Publications issued within the PISA- Programme for International Student Assessment[23]– (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) were also taken into due consideration.
Indicators of discrimination in Education
The EUMC study measures discrimination rates through the following main indicators:
1)      over-representation of migrants and minorities in schools with lower academic demands or in special education programmes;
2)      high (early) dropout rates, or the absence of positive developments in educational performance of minority groups over generations.
On the other hand, it also considers factors which can foster integration:
1)    equal treatment and anti-discrimination policies;
2)    effective language support programmes
3)    intercultural curricula, or ethnic diversity among the teaching staff.
Categoriesused in data collection
E.U. Member States use different categories for collecting data on migrants and ethnic minorities in the area of education, which influence the comparability of the available
Both Italy and Germany distinguish pupils and students according to citizenship or nationality. Pupils and students with foreign citizenship are categorised as non-citizens, non-nationals, foreign students or aliens. In addition, these categories include subcategories, such as asylum seekers, refugees, or return migrants. According to these collecting data criteria naturalised citizens or members of the second or third generation with a foreign background, who were granted citizenship at birth, are no longer recorded separately from the countries’ majority group members. These categories are then incorporated with data distinguishing nationals from EU and non-EU citizens and from various nationality groups.
Germany is the only Member State differentiating data on university students between foreign students who came to the country for the sole purpose of studying, and foreign nationals who permanently live in the country.
Italy provides also a collection of gender-disaggregated data.
Enrolment trends of  migrant and ethnic minority pupils
 Italian education system deals with the effects of the recent immigration boom.
The foreign pupils’ population has increased drastically in the last two decades. Their proportion in primary schools accounts about 6%, while decreases in the Secondary School (4%), showing the existence of a visible "education gap". More than half of the foreign pupils are non-Europeans, most of whom coming from Africa (Morocco and Tunisia), Balkan Area (Romania and Albania) and Asia (Cina). [24]
Germanyhas a substantial migrant population, which goes back to the second half of the last century (from the 1960s to the 1980s), when “Gastarbeiter" were recruited in large numbers.
Therefore, the population of foreign pupils has been considerably high for some time.
There has also been an inflow of many ethnic German immigrants (the so-called "Spätaussiedler" or ethnic German returnees from Russia and Eastern European countries) but most of them are registered as Germans in the official statistics.
Many pupils with citizenship from Turkey or Yugoslavia attend German schools.
The enrolment rate of foreign pupils is above 9% of the school children in all schools, but above 12% in primary schools.
In Germany, more migrants with foreign citizenship are enrolled in schools with less school years and lower academic demands. For example, their proportion in the general and technological track (Hauptschule -17,6% in 2001/02) is much higher than in the academically oriented Gymnasium (3,9%). In 2001, their share in vocational schools amounted 7,4%.
Special Schools
Special schools provide education for pupils with special needs, such as pupils with a disability or severe learning and cognitive difficulties.
Throughout Europe is visiblean over-representation of migrant and ethnic
minority pupils in schools for special education is common, due to test results (often written in the host Country language) and low teacher expectations, which are influenced by socio-cultural and language differences of the pupils. Italydid not supply any information on this topic.
In Germany, special education is offered in the so-called or in integrative
classes between grade one and nine. The share of migrant pupils with a foreign citizenship in was 15,4% in 2001/02, which constitutes a higher proportion compared to their enrolment in all schools (9,7%).
Data on the largest migrant groups shows that Turkish pupils enrolment in special schools is 6,5% and 4,2% in all schools. For Yugoslavian pupils the respective numbers are 2,3% and 0,7% and for Italians 1,4% and 0,7%.
Higher Education
Italy and Germany collect data on enrolment at higher education level, differentiating students according to citizenship.
The EUMC Report does not show any statistic on the participation of migrants students to High Education.
The data collection used to edit the EUMC Report shows that Germany is the only Country using the category of "foreign students" and distinguishing between students with foreign citizenship who permanently live in the Country ("’educational nationals") and foreign students who come to Germany for the purpose of studying at universities and institutions of higher education (‘educational non-nationals’). The majority of these ‘educational nationals’ belong to the second generation of migrants and are clearly under-represented in the universities and Fachhochschulen compared with their proportion in the total population of the corresponding age group.
When turning to Italy in this category, some data is acquirable from the Italian Dossier 2006, edited by Caritas/Migrantes, which contains a differentiation between “Erasmus student” ( 40% of the total amount of foreign students) and “ foreign students”. In this last category students having a foreign Secondary School title are divided from the ones holding an Italian “Diploma”. The percentage of immigrants students is around 2.1.%, of which 57,8% is female.
The highest migrant groups attending Universities come from Albania (24, 9%), Grecia (15,7 %), Romania (3,4%) .
Educational Achievement of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities
School performance of various minority groups is understudied in nearly all Member States, apart from U.K.
By the way a study edited within PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment[25] investigated pupils’ knowledge and skills at age 15 in the domains of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy, and allowed a comparison of the performances between native pupils, non-native pupils, and pupils who were born in the respective Country but whose parents were born in another Country. Overall, study shows that non-native born pupils have had much lower literacy scores than native pupils with no foreign background.
In Germany, on the average, migrant pupils’ dropout rates are much higher than those of native  German pupils. The former finish school at an earlier age with significantly lower qualifications respect to the latter. In 2001,
74,381 migrant pupils with a foreign citizenship finished schools, which offer
general education (Hauptschule). 20.3% of these pupils left without formal qualifications, while the rate decreases with regard to German pupils (8.6%). 40% of migrant pupils (compared to 24.2% of Germans) left Hauptschule with a certificate. 29% passed mittlere Reife, which is comparable to a General Certificate of Secondary Education (compared to 41.7% of Germans). Only 10.7% of migrant pupils compared to 25.5% of German pupils obtained the right to study at Universities or to go to a Fachhochschule (passed the Abitur which is comparable to A-levels). However, there are significant differences between the different federal states depending on general structural differences in the education systems.
Concerning minorities, the Danes (50.000), the Sorbs (60.000), and the German Sinti and Roma (10.000) are legally recognised national minorities. The Frisians are
considered to be a separate ethnic group (estimates of North Frisians are 50.000 to 60.000).193 National minorities have the right to set up and to manage their own private educational and training establishments. From all groups, Sinti and Roma are regarded as the groups with the lowest achievement in the education system.
Members of the group are over-represented in special needs schools, have a very high proportion of early dropouts, and only rarely achieve higher levels of
education.194 The German NFP195 points to a report by the Open Society Institute, which states that Sinti and Roma belong to groups that are affected by discrimination in schools. Representatives of the group believe that the assignment to special needs schools is often arbitrary and that the children of the group are often perceived as a "disturbance of the normal school life".
In Italy, there is little data concerning the school performance of foreign pupils. However, full and equal access to public education for all children has yet to be achieved. Although the performance of non-Italian pupils is lower than that of the entire school population (in particular at middle school level), the situation has constantly improved within the last three school years. A recent three-year study in the province of Turin showed that a higher percentage of foreign pupils than Italians do not advance from one class to the next and that the percentage of non-Italian pupils who failed at the end of the year, gradually increases from primary to high school. Separate figures for the two most represented non-Italian nationalities in schools — Albanians and Moroccans—show failure rates of 1.1% at primary level, 9.8% at middle school, and 22.9% at high school for Albanians and 0.7%, 19.6% and 24.7% at the respective school levels for Moroccans.
In relation to minorities, the Italian Constitution recognises and protects "linguistic" minorities, but does not recognise national minorities or make any reference to "ethnic" minorities. For example, there is a French-language minority, a German-language minority, and a Slovenian-language minority, living in different regions throughout the country.
Roma and Sinti do not appear in educational statistics that differentiate groups by citizenship or nationality. Members of the group may be from Yugoslavia, Romania, Macedonia, or even Italy. Roma children suffer from social prejudice: very few reach middle school level and frequent dropouts from compulsory schools. For sure the implementation of the EU Directive 2000/43 is an effective instrument for minorities’ inclusion.
Background of Youth migrants
There are several factors[26] which may affect the migrants achievements in education:
1) Language and Cultural Differences:
Comprehension of the majority language the educational impact the chances of success of ethnic minority pupils. The same is true for culturally based differences in values, experiences with formal education, religion etc.
2) Time of settlement:
Generally length of settlement and schooling can affect performance.
3) ?Placement in lower than age-appropriate grades:
The practice of placing such pupils in classes that are lower than their ages has a demoralising effect and may cause high dropout rates among foreign pupils.
4) Participation in Pre-school Programmes
In several countries, migrant and ethnic minority children participate less
frequently in pre-school programmes preparing children for primary school as well as in fostering the learning of the country’s dominant language.
 5) Socio-economic status:
Research suggests that social class strongly influences ethnic minority
attainment. Pupils from lower socio-economic groups tend to achieve worse
results than those from higher socio-economic groups.
6) Parental education and aspirations:
Parents who attained high levels of education themselves and/or have high
aspirations for their children can have a strong influence on promoting high
achievement levels, regardless of belonging to an ethnic minority or not.
 Factors related to Teachers or Peers
1) Teacher expectations:
Studies have shown that low expectations from the side of teachers deter some ethnic minority pupils from doing well. In addition, this has been named as a factor in the wrongful assignment of pupils to appropriate classes, such as
special education programmes or age-inappropriate grade levels.
2) Direct discrimination by teachers and peers:
Prejudice, which tends to be expressed in harassment, racial slurs, and
scape-goating may have the result that migrant and minority pupils perceive
themselves as not being accepted or excluded by members of the dominant
Main Results on Youth migrants’ inclusion underlined in the Caritas/Migrantes Report and EUMC Report:
Drawing some conclusions, reports show:
1)    underachievement of a number of migrant ethnic minority groups both in Italy and in Germany;. As expected the worst situation is faced by Roma children, adolescents and young adults;
2)    Generally , there is a lack of research and data concerning the education of non-migrant ethnic minority groups.
3)    The combination of exclusion and assimilationist polices in education lead to a distrust of migrants in the educational system which leads to a lack participation of migrants and minorities young people to social life in general.
4)    The socio-economic differences between many national minorities and the majority of the population are still considerable in Italy and in Germany.
5)    This aspect has a “domino effect” in different areas of Young people’s life, such as education, employment and housing, which undermine their effective participation / sense of belonging to the hosting Country society and speed self-exclusion processes.
6)    Several groups, but in particular Roma and Sinti, are affected by discrimination in schools. They are regarded as a "disturbance to normal school life" by teachers and school administrators.
Factors which can foster integration
1) Anti-discrimination Polices
The integration minority Youth in European education system is crucial for the socioeconomic and democratic development of Europe as a whole.
The Green Paper “Equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged European Union” (2004), acknowledge that more efforts are required in order to ensure the full and effective inclusion “of all” in the society.
For this reason the European Institutions decided to dedicate Year 2007 to “ Equal Opportunities for All”, whose activities are organized around four key objectives:
Rights – Raising awareness on the right to equality and non-discrimination and on the problem of multiple discrimination
Representation – Stimulating debate on ways to increase the participation of groups in society which are victims of discrimination and a balanced participation of men and women
Recognition – facilitating and celebrating diversity and equality
Respect – Promoting a more cohesive society
To give few examples, activities in the field of education may encourage the elaboration and development of National Action Plans on the topic of minority children’s education; promote the development of training activities for teachers to enhance their methodology and pedagogical skills in relation to working with minority children and parents/adults; support the cooperation with other relevant stakeholders (authorities, NGOs ,parents’ associations) working in the field of Roma children’s education at national and EU level; support member organisations in tackling ’hidden discrimination’ in education, through amongst other things, better knowledge of existing EU and national legislation;
2) Language Programmes
In Italy,  "cultural and linguistic mediators"  provide external language support for migrant students in many schools. Unfortunately the mediators do not possess any specific competences neither as teachers nor as experts in teaching languages in most cases. As example of googd practice, the Italian Focal Point points out that the Municipality of Florence has created three centres for learning the Italian language in the districts with the highest numbers of non-Italian speaking pupils. Bilingual or otherwise qualified staff supports the activity of regular teachers in the teaching of Italian as a Second Language.
In Germany, special support classes are offered in primary school for beginners and in primary and secondary schools for newcomers entering education at a later stage.
However German and migrant pupils  are predominantly  taught together in regular classes. If the formation of a special support class is not possible due to a low number of participants, then special instruction (support course, intensive course, etc.) is being offered.
3)    Intercultural, Multicultural, and Antiracist Curricula
The need for Intercultural Curricula seems to be one of the most delicate in the daily situation of schools. At the moment the lack of  assessment of current practices and policies in education in the EU Member States arises doubts on the real efforts and different stages of development regarding the incorporation of intercultural, multicultural, and antiracist curricula.  Despite new policies asking for an intercultural approach in teaching, practical implementations are still lacking in all EU Member States.
In Italy, clear references to intercultural education with a focus on respect of differences and on a wide variety of teaching approaches can already be found in new teaching programmes for primary schools[27]. These programmes were approved by Decree No. 104 of the President of the Republic in 1985, and went into effect in the school year of 1987/88.353 The presidential decrees No. 249 of 1998354 and No. 275 of 1999355 establish that each school must adopt a Plan of Training Opportunities (or P.O.F.). However the percentage of schools should promoting  activities to enhance the intercultural values is still small (53.7%). 
In Germany, intercultural education was initially introduced within the
framework of the so-called "foreigners pedagogy" (Ausländerpädagogik) and was restricted to classes with a high percentage of migrant children. However its implementation is still dependent on the initiative of the individual teachers[28]. It is also underlined the lack of textbooks focusing on various foreign cultures from different perspectives.
Part III. Alternative Patterns of Education: a provisory solution experimented in the Training Courses promoted by the Council of Europe- Department of Youth and Sport.
1. Formal and Non Formal Education
The idea of alternative patterns of education respect to the formal education model   became part of the international debate on education policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s and it was mainly related to the concepts of lifelong learning outside recognized educational institutions.
In the period of economic boom, many Countries had evident difficulties, politically or economically, to enhance educational growth, above all in the traditional sets of formal education. Formal educational systems weren’t able to adapt opportunely to the socio-economic changes and needs which were coming into being (not élitaire educational system, specialization, increasingly concern about unsuitable curricula of applicants). The gap between the demand and answer of educational change led to alternative educational patterns coming from the wider society and social sub-systems rather than from formal schooling.
Within policy speech a common differentiation has been made between three forms of education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal. The first traces of this tripartition which emerged in the debate have to be found in Learning to Be (‘The Faure Report’, UNESCO 1972)[29], in which lifelong learning was considered the ‘Leitmotiv’ that should inspire educational systems.
Formal education: “the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded ‘education system’, running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programmes and institutions for full-time technical and professional training”.
Informal education: “the truly lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment – from family and neighbors, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media”.
Non-formal education: “any organized educational activity outside the established formal system – whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity – that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives”.[30]
1.1. Defining Non-Formal Education (N.F.E.)
The feeling that formal education was failing led to different reform movements in the Usa and in Europe from 1968 until about 1986, which influenced policy-makers and had in common the idea that non-formal education was the proper remedy for educational system “disease”.
Even if it was perceived by many as a sub-system of education, inferior to formal schooling, the discourse of non-formal education was strong enough to divide the world of education into two:
on the one hand was formal education, which was never defined, because it was assumed that everybody could recognize the formal system of education; on the other hand was non-formal education, which was mainly defined as every educational activity outside of formal one: 
Non formal education is any organized, systematic, educational activity carried on outside the framework of the formal system to provide selected types of learning to particular subgroups in the population, adults as well as children.[31] 
Apart from this definition, to non formal education were given very different contents.[32]
Since the beginning, prejudice has been used to attack the value of N.F.E, as the idea that it is chaotic and it is not possible to consider it as method of systematic education. Even though, there was a pedagogical wave which recognized to N.F.E the merit to be flexible and easy to be adapted to satisfy the changing training needs of the society. Above all, it was stressed the possibility within a N.F.E. model to negotiate some relevant aspects between trainers and trainees, while other organisational features  of the programme are retained by the providing Institution. To the first issues belong the time and location of meetings,  the dates of ‘holidays’, and such logistical issues are often left to the local community to determine. But matters as the curriculum and teaching-learning materials, the length of the learning programme, the form and timing of the evaluation process are all matters reserved to the providing Institution.[33]   Apart from children and -teens education, this freedom was challenging for adult education, based on the principle that some learning activities are highly chosen or created for a specific learning group in the design of both curriculum and learning materials, so that the curriculum was built by each learning group and around their particular interests. In this way, some parts of the programme are will be determined and negotiated by the participants, others are given by the providing institute.
2. Non formal education as tool to promote participation in the policy of the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe (CoE) recently stated that “the Assembly recognizes that formal educational systems alone cannot respond to the challenges of modern society and therefore welcomes its reinforcement by non-formal educational practices.  The Assembly recommends that governments and appropriate authorities of member states recognize non-formal education as a de facto partner in the lifelong process and make it accessible for all”. The field in which CoE is experimenting alternative forms of education is human rights’ education.
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace". The main idea is that the most appropriate way of involving participants and structuring an educational process on human rights depends to a large extent upon the setting in which an educator is working. For this reason trainers or teachers have more or less freedom regarding content, timing and form of activity depending on whether they are operating within a formal, informal or non-formal educational context.[34]

Non-formal education as practised by many youth organisations and groups is :
·        voluntary;
·        accessible to everyone (ideally);
·        an organised process with educational objectives;
·        participatory and learner-centred;
·        about learning life skills and preparing for active citizenship;
·        based on involving both individual and group learning with a collective approach;
·        holistic and process-oriented;
·        based on experience and action, and starts from the needs of the participants.
In order to contribute to the bringing of human rights different forms of education into the mainstream,
COMPASS Manualhas been produced within the framework of the Human Rights Education Youth Programme of the Directorate of Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe, which was launched in 2000 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The manual has not been designed as a ‘course’ in HRE, and the individual activities can usefully be applied in very different contexts, in formal or less formal settings, and on a regular or irregular basis.
Official definition of Human Rights Education for the Council of Europe Youth Programme
The Manual underlines that no two individuals, or groups of individuals, or cultures have identical requirements, and no one educational approach will suit all individuals, all groups, or all societies. This only goes to show that effective (human rights) education needs to be, above all, learner-centred: it has to begin from the needs, preferences, abilities and desires of each person, within each society.
“A learner-centred educational approach recognises the value of personal action and personal change and also takes account of the social context in which learners find themselves, but this need not mean that educators have to work in isolation, or that they cannot learn from others who may be working in different contexts. What draws human rights educators together from around the globe is a common enterprise – a desire to promote and inhabit a world where human rights are valued and respected.” The Coe human rights policy tries to link human rights education through participatory and active learning activities to relevant local and global issues such as development, environment, intercultural relations and peace.
The overview developed in this paper shows that education is one of the factors which can speed the   process from the “vicious circle of exclusion” to the “virtuous circle of inclusion”. School and University can be   “places” (in the way this term is used by Marc Augè)[35], where students may have  experience of otherness, or in any case of coexistence and intercultural learning.                                                                                                                     In particular a fundamental challenge of fostering future generations’ participation lies in primary and secondary education. Hence, ensuring that children benefit more from school and leave it with a minimum skill level remains on the National political agenda of many European Member States, among which Italy and Germany.
The education system should be able to break the negative cycle of inter-generational low achievement faced my minority and migrants young people, fostering their mobility from lower to higher socioeconomic status.
EU Anti-discrimination legislation provides new effective instruments to fully capitalise the skill potential of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to prevent their labour discrimination  and to enriched concept of citizenship that has de facto moved from the stage of belonging in an ethnically and culturally homogeneous nation-state to the reality of participating in inalienable universal human and political rights that guarantee equal access to the opportunities opened up by democracy.
In a perspective of Intercultural learning Non Formal Education may help Formal Educational System to draw an inclusive scenario.
Barbara Giovanna Bello
PhD student
Trainer of the Pool of Trainers of the Council of Europe
Andriessen L.,Phalet K., Acculturation and school success: a study among minority youth in the Netherlands, in Intercultural Education Journal, Routledge
Augè M., Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Paperback, 2004
AA.VV., Bullettin Legal Issues in Gender Equality, European Commission-Directorate- General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, March 2005, pp.77
AA.VV., Critical Review of Academic Literature Relating to the EU Directives to Combat Discrimination, European Commission-Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, July 2004, pp. 62
AA.VV., Equal Rights in Practice, European Commission-Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Equal Rights in Practice, March 2005, pp. 30
AA.VV., Executive Summary 2004 on Discrimination Based on Racial or Ethnic Origin, Community Action Programme to Combat discrimination- European Group of non Governmental Experts in the Field of Combating Discrimination on the Grounds of Racial and Ethnic Origin and Religion Belief- Coordinated by the Migration Policy Group
Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress, 1994
Bell Hooks, Teaching CommunityA Pedagogy of Hope, Routledge, 2003 ;
Boal, Augusto. The Theatre of the Oppressed. New York: Urizen Books, 1979. Republished by Routledge Press in New York/London, 1982.
Boal, Augusto Games for Actors and Non-Actors. New York: Routledge Press, 1992.
Boal, Augusto, The Rainbow of Desire. New York: Routledge Press, 1995.
Coombs, P. The World Crisis in Education, New York: Oxford University Press P, 1985
Coombs and M. Ahmed (1974) Attacking Rural Poverty. How non-formal education can help, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.
European handbook on equality data,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G., 2007.
Equality and non-discrimination Annual report 2006,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G.
EUMC, Migrants, Minorities and Education, 2004
Field, J. and Leicester, M. Lifelong Education, London:  Routledge, 2000
Fordham, P. E., ‘Informal, non-formal and formal education programmes’ in YMCA George Williams College ICE301 Lifelong Learning Unit 2, London: YMCA George Williams College, 1993
Freire P.,Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Harmondsworth: Penguin
RifkinJ, The  European Dream,Tarcher/Penguin, 2004                      
Steiner R., Saradon, S.B. The psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (Out of print. See American Psychology and Schools, 1974
UNESCO Learning to Be (prepared by Faure, E. et al), Paris: UNESCO, 1972


[1] Voices of Youth ,, October 2002
[2] EUMC, Migrants, Minorities and Education, 2004
[3] AA.VV., Bullettin Legal Issues in Gender Equality, European Commission-Directorate- General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, March 2005, pp.77;
AA.VV., Critical Review of Academic Literature Relating to the EU Directives to Combat Discrimination, European Commission-Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, July 2004, pp. 62; AA.VV., Equal Rights in Practice, European Commission-Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Equal Rights in Practice, March 2005, pp. 30 AA.VV., Executive Summary 2004 on Discrimination Based on Racial or Ethnic Origin, Community Action Programme to Combat discrimination- European Group of non Governmental Experts in the Field of Combating Discrimination on the Grounds of Racial and Ethnic Origin and Religion Belief- Coordinated by the Migration Policy Group
[4] In the social sciences, sense of community is defined by elements such as shared emotional connection, neighbourhood or place attachment, membership, influence, reinforcement or sense of place in the neighbourhood (Talen 1999). According to Brain: in striving for community, we have to try to assimilate or erase differences, exacerbating tendencies toward intolerance as we confront people who insist on their differences for whatever reason; hence we tend to emphasize community based on aggregation of similarity, on homogeneity (Brain 2005)
[5]  Rifkin J., The  European Dream, (Tarcher/Penguin, 2004). 
[6] For a glance at some indicative data regarding educational achievement, see page 15 of this paper.
[8] No Person Shall Be Denied The Right To Education: The influence of the European convention on human rights on the right to education and rights in education by Jan De Groof , Gracienne Lauwers (editors)

[11] Dossier Statistico 2006.
[13] AndriessenI.,Phalet K.,  Acculturation and school success: a study among minority youth in the Netherlands Intercultural EducationJournal, Routledge.
[14] European handbook on equality data 2007,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G., Equality and non-discrimination Annual report 2006,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G.
[15] Bell M., Kjellstrand S.,  CRITICAL REVIEW OF CRITICAL REVIEW OF ACADEMIC LITERATURE ACADEMIC LITERATURE RELATING TO THE EU RELATING TO THE EU DIRECTIVES TO COMBAT DIRECTIVES TO COMBAT DISCRIMINATIONDISCRIMINATION, Fundamental rights and anti- discrimination-European Commission Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs Unit D.3, 2004.
[16] Direct discrimination shall be taken to occur where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on grounds of racial or ethnic origin.
[17] indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary concerned.
[18] Harassment is an unwanted conduct related to racial or ethnic origin takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
[20] Prof. Cicognani’s research studies show a meaningful link between these two dimensions.
[24]Caritas/Migrantes, Immigrazione Dossier Statistico 2006
[26] European handbook on equality data,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G., 2007; Equality and non-discrimination Annual report 2006,  European Commission-Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G; EUMC, Migrants, Minorities and Education, 2004
[27] At the level of higher education an interesting attempt to promote intercultural education is the Postgraduation Course on Intercultural Studies held in Padova,
[28] Most of the seminars on intercultural education are part of the academic courses on theory and methodology of education, but there are hardly any courses on this topic within the in-depth academic course programme and in the subject-specific didactical training.
[29]         UNESCO published the findings of a world enquiry into education in a report entitled “Learning to Be”
            In 1972, the International Commission on the Development of Education chaired by the former French prime minister Edgar Faure published a report entitled Learning to Be. The title reflected the climate of optimism of that period, generated by economic and social achievements, the ideology of steady progress, the positive consequences of "peaceful coexistence", and an enduring faith in international co-operation. Two Commissions chaired respectively by Edgar Faure and Jacques Delors were set up to examine the impact on education of social change both at national and global levels, and suggest paths to be explored to respond to the new problems, responsibilities and challenges. Both commissions highlighted the ever greater interdependence of education and society.
[30]         Four characteristics came to be associated with non-formal education: relevance to the needs of disadvantaged groups, concern with specific categories of person, a focus on clearly defined purposes and flexibility in organization and methods. "learning [is]…a process that is not only related to the function of school or other organised educational settings. This conception of learning is based upon the idea and observation that a considerable number of our meaningful learning experiences happen outside the formal education system: in workplaces, families, different organisations and libraries…"
Dr. Pasi Sahlberg in Building Bridges for Learning – The Recognition and Value of Non-Formal Education in Youth Activity
[31]         Coombs and Ahmed 1974   Coombs and M. Ahmed (1974) Attacking Rural Poverty. How non-formal education can help, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.
[32]       For some, it meant every educational programme provided by the Ministry of Education apart from the schools and colleges (e.g. adult literacy classes).  For others, it meant educational programmes like schooling provided by non-governmental agencies (NGOs).  For yet others, it comprised all the educational and training activities of other Ministries (Women’s Affairs, Health, Labor and Employment, Youth and Sports and Culture etc etc).  Others again included within non-formal education the individualized learning programmes for different and specific learning groups – women’s discussion groups, for example, programmes which approximate closely to social work and specialist counseling,  whether provided by the state, NGOs, commercial agencies or other civil society bodies (religious organizations, trade unions, new social movements etc).  Some took it to mean every educational activity apart from schools and colleges, including radio and television programmes, the print media (newspapers and magazines etc).  Whenever one reads any statement about non-formal education at that time,  it is important to ask what definition of non-formal education is being used. 
[33]         This can be called flexible schooling – the standard elements common to all such learning groups are clearly schooling but the participatory elements mean that it is schooling made flexible to the local group concerned. The author criticizes that often the term ‘non-formal education’ (that is everything that is not formal) is used to cover both flexible schooling and highly participatory education. He proposes to distinguish: formal, non-formal flexible schooling, informal highly contextualized,  highly participatory educational activities. 
[34]For the CoE’s Compass Manual Informal educationprimary school to university, and includes specialised programmes for technical and professional training. Non-formal education refers to any planned programme of personal and social education for young people designed to improve a range of skills and competencies, outside the formal educational curriculum refers to the lifelong process, whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from the educational influences and resources in his or her own environment and from daily experience (family, neighbours, marketplace, library, mass media, work, play, etc.). Formal education refers to the structured education system that runs from
[35] Augè M., Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Paperback, 2004

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