Adjusting to a new school environment can be one of the biggest challenges for children coming from a migrant or refugee background. Inclusive education has been an emerging need over the last few years, not only in Europe, but also over the globe. It is essential that schools introduce and continue upgrading practices for inclusive education, in order to facilitate a positive learning experience for their migrant students, corresponding to their individual learning needs and taking their unique situation into consideration.
Several actions and projects have emerged in the last few years promoting the collaboration of stakeholders around Europe in the area of inclusive education and the sharing of good practices. CARDET has been actively involved in the implementation of such initiatives, supporting schools and students at a local level. In the last couple of years, the Centre has been working on the project FEINAMC – Foster Educational Inclusion of Newly Arrived Migrant Children, which with its conclusion, has managed to highlight the need for a more inclusive education and opened an honest discussion with schools, working directly with their teachers and students.
The project aimed at replicating and disseminating good practices to promote the inclusion of children with a migration background in education. More specifically, a peer-mentoring programme and a prior knowledge assessment tool were proposed and implemented, addressed to newly arrived migrant children. The project and the proposed good practices have been implemented in schools in five countries in Europe; Cyprus, Spain, Austria, Greece and Italy.
The project concluded with nine policy recommendations to promote the inclusion of migrant children in education, based on experiences, knowledge, discussions and exchange of views and good practices between stakeholders who were actively involved in the development and implementation of the project.
Transforming education is all about transforming culture, and most important to this, is the transformation of a school holistically. It might seem extra challenging attempting to change the overall system, but working with one school at a time brings us closer to our goal for a more inclusive education. Transforming education is all about taking action. There is an abundance of research-backed resources and tools that allow for schools and educators to incorporate inclusive practices in their classrooms and kick-start the change they want to see in education. You can begin your journey by exploring what our project FEINAMC has to offer to you and your students here.