Inclusion in Europe: Two realities?


The ISOTIS team interviewed parents with a Turkish, North-African, Romani and native low-income background about their views and experiences related to children's education. These interviews were conducted in the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Portugal.

Preliminary results are now coming to light. These early results seem to indicate that diverse families live in two realities.

Turkish and North-African immigrants, Roma and native low-income people are, overall, living well together in the locations where the ISOTIS study is being conducted. They report, on average, low discrimination by other parents and neighbours, reasonable inter-group contact, and positive supportive relations with professionals in education, care and health care at the local level.

Immigrant and Roma parents wish to preserve their heritage language and culture, but also agree with the importance of learning the national language and culture. Parents in all groups, including the native low-income group, share the value of recognizing, respecting and celebrating different cultural backgrounds in (pre)primary education.

However, the experienced discrimination in public discourse, media and social media is high and this negatively affects parents’ wellbeing and feelings of belongingness to the country. The overall positive personal relations with professionals at the local level are a protective buffer against the negative effects of media discrimination on parents’ wellbeing and sense of belongingness.

In sum, there seems to be a discrepancy between the reality of everyday life at the local level and the reality of public media discourse.

Watch ISOTIS researcher Martine Broekhuizen (Utrecht University) presenting the goals of the interviews with parents.