Working in mixed classrooms: teachers’ reactions and new challenges for pluralism

Maddalena Colombo, 27281, DI SCIENZE DELLA FORMAZIONE FACOLTA', MILANO - Dipartimento di Sociologia

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


The paper aims to explore the effects of multicultural landscape within schools on the implementation of an effective pluralism, as required by the presence of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious demand. The issue is not new for Italy but until the nineties diversities in schooling were represented mainly by students with handicaps and the politics had a strong aim of integration/assimilation without coping with pluralism. The current inclusive policy is based on the “in common school model” but up to now few investments have been done in the renovation of curricula in a multi-cultural or inter-cultural direction, nor has it been carried out an adequate training to diversity management for teachers. In the light of recent studies carried out on the Italian teachers, the paper focuses on cultural attitudes towards immigrant pupils underlining how the cultural/cognitive pluralism hasn’t been recognized not withstanding the “institutional” pluralism displayed. A brief review of main results raised by a 3-years long regional study in the most multicultural area of Italy (Lombardia) makes evident: 1) teachers operating in mixed schools are aware that embedding the newcomers in our society is their proper task; 2) they devote all personal resources, including sensitivity and trust in an equalitarian principle and feel “prepared” enough to the challenge. 3) Nevertheless they develop few professional skills to be more efficient and pluralistic, and 4) perceive a sense of discomfort when they think to end results of immigrants inclusion in both school and society.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)17-45
Numero di pagine29
RivistaItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • assimilation/integration dilemma
  • education
  • immigration
  • implicit racism
  • sociology of education
  • teacher’s attitude


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