In a recent systematic review on ethnic inequalities in education, four research traditions are identified among nearly one hundred Italian studies carried out from 1990 to 2017 (Azzolini et al., 2019). The first tradition, called “school inclusion and intercultural practices”, includes pioneering research on the topic of the transformation of Italian schools, facing the challenge of immigration for the first time. These studies investigate the school practices that were implemented to receive the newly-arrived students, highlighting the role of the key actors in the process of educational integration of these children, and analysing school-family relationships and interactions. This research focuses on school practices aimed at encouraging parental involvement and inspired by the intercultural approach. In fact, since the 1990s in Italian schools many educational interventions concern migrant families in school: i.e. second language teaching for parents and children; guidance to support school choice; support through extra-school activities and help with homework; acceptance and recognition of linguistic, cultural, and religious diversities (deriving from family background); maintenance of mother tongue and plurilingualism; linguistic-cultural mediation to facilitate school-family relations; involvement of immigrant students and parents as leaders and initiators of projects, and as representative on school bodies (Santagati & Zanzottera, 2018). Following the process and the methodology used in previous literature review (cf. the sampling process in: Santagati, 2012; Santagati, 2015; Azzolini et al., 2019), this chapter updates and broadens the number of studies on the family-school relationship, presenting a synthesis of sociological research on migrant families’ involvement through a meta-analysis of 34 studiesfrom kindergarten to secondary schools carried out between 1990 and 2018 (par. 5.3), then focusing on studies carried out in primary schools (14 out of 34, par. 5.4). In general, most studies related to the “school inclusion and intercultural practices (family-school relationship)” research tradition adopt a qualitative or mixed-method approach and focus on local contexts (cities or regions). Then, in the early 1990s, some qualitative inquiries were carried out, placing special focus on foreign families’ involvement in schools and aimed at investigating school-level practices that may facilitate or hamper foreign families’ participation.
|Title of host publication||Families and schools. The involvement of foreign families in schools|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- immigrant families
- multicultural schools
- parental involvement