The Italian school is increasingly multiracial. A large number of children who are present in the classrooms of our cities, from north to south, from kindergarten to high school. And this, according to the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Paediatrics, can only enrich the Italian children.
“Multiculturalism – says the president of the SIPPS, Drs. Joseph Di Mauro – is a great resource, not a barrier, for the younger generation. It is an opportunity for children to socialize and get in touch with reality which is often completely different from ours . “
The school becomes the place that most favours integration, bringing together the host community and the community of migrant children. (…) In fact – adds Dr. Pier Carlo Wages , pediatrician clinic in Milan and a member of SIPPS -schools should educate the child with respect for others , regardless of their origin. The intercultural dimension involves the whole school, which has the job of creating equal opportunity for learning, justice and equity.”
Recent research (MR Contini, Interculturality and Social Bonds Formation: a Case Study on Immigrant and Native Preadolescents in Italy. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 2014; 149: 233-241), conducted by administering a questionnaire to a sample of more than 1,300 Italian and foreign preteens attending the second and third year of secondary school degree in Abruzzo, has highlighted the potential and critical issues which can be summarized as follows:
- Almost a third of the Italian respondents do not spend time with pre-adolescent peers of a nationality other than their own.
- Half of the non-Italian students spend time mainly with peers of the same nationality.
- Most foreigners who arrived in Italy after the age of seven meet their friends outside of school and they tend to be of their own nationality.
- The age of migration is a factor that works in favour of closer relations with Italians and boys / girls of different nationalities.
- Chinese students were the most likely to spend time with boys / girls of their own nationality.
- Girls show a greater openness than boys to engaging in friendly relationships within the school and with peers from different countries.
- Italian and foreign students do not perceive there to be attitudes of discrimination against foreigners by Italian classmates or teachers.
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