Investing in culturally inspired education : a chance for Roma and non-Roma children to celebrate diversity and equality

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Iliadou, Athina
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This research is grounded on the problem of Roma people’s ostracism within the European social borders. Whilst Roma communities’ marginalization in the receptive European countries is a discourse that has been raised time and again, Roma’s social image rather worsens than improves. In this context both Roma and non-Roma communities are trapped in a circle which regenerates discrimination and distrust, impeding them from a sincere social interaction. The paper pursues alternative solutions, arguing that, what has been done so far is either dysfunctional or superficially effective. It seeks for more radical and genuine social processes of engagement and it presents three key components whose dynamics, if combined, are likely to bring auspicious responses: Culture, Children and Education. After showing that mutually driven social integration means recognition of the respective cultural identities, the paper explores the issue of cultural pluralism in education, suggesting that the latter is still the most powerful mechanism to strengthen human rights-based social behaviors. Eventually, it engages Roma and non-Roma children into a project of educational cultural interaction, expected to build cultural bridges between them and create a strong foundation for the future generations’ peaceful living together.
Second semester University: University of Padua.
culture, education, integration, pluralism, Romanies