Community and family participation in the design and development of school curricula in sociocultural diversity contexts.

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2016

The research problem is the family and community participation in the curriculum design and development in schools of sociocultural diversity contexts, associated with involuntary minoritised groups. This raises the challenge of incorporating elements of family education into the school education processes as collaboration objects for the articulation of the family-school-community triad, and overcome the prejudices of a monocultural education in the given context.

The theoretical framework addresses the process of involuntary minorisation and its implications in the educational and sociocultural development of individuals belonging to these groups, in particular the Mapuche communities in Chile and the Gypsies in Spain. The school curriculum within the framework of the formal education and the intercultural education approach are similarly analyzed as a response to the sociocultural diversity of the educational environment. Finally, a theoretical analysis of the family and community participation in the curricular management, and of the meaning of the definition of a collaboration object from an intercultural education approach, is done.

The study is based on the methodology of educational qualitative research with an ethnographic approach, taking in consideration the schooling of the Mapuche population in La Araucania in Chile and the gypsies population in Catalonia, Spain, as study contexts. An intentional sampling was considered, which allowed to select a primary school in each context, including in each the educational, communitarian and family environment. The employed data collection techniques were field notes, semi-structured interviews and focus groups, analyzed using grounded theory.
The results indicate the existence of significant differences between conception and operationalization of the family and community participation in the curricular design and development in Mapuche and Gypsy contexts. These are related to the resistance dynamics that each of these populations has developed in the interaction with the majoritized society. In this process the Mapuche assume the school success as a necessity to overcome the poverty they lived as a result of the incorporation to the Chilean State. On the other side, the Gypsies maintain a distance and low valuation of all school related and the formation of a cultural identity in opposition to the other dominant. However, this is a changing fact for the young families, since they start seeing in school education a mean to improve their life quality through access to formal employment.

In both contexts the prejudices of the monocultural schooling are revealed, which would directly influence the family and community marginalization from the school processes, bringing into sight the need for applying an intercultural model of family and community involvement in the curricular management. Which is feasible through the definition of a collaboration object that considers the involuntary minorities’ family education elements. Finally, through the discussion of the results, the central axes of family and community participation in the curricular design and management in school education of the involuntary minoritized groups are displayed from a critical intercultural educational approach.

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