Relation of Roma to education


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This study presents selected results of a qualitative research project focused on the lifelong process of developing Roma relations to education and learning. The project was implemented as part of the doctoral dissertation entitled Socio-Andragogic
    M  AREK L UKÁ Č    Prešovska univerzity Slovenská republika RELATION OF ROMA TO EDUCATION  A BSTRACT . Luká č  Marek, Relation of Roma to education  [Stosunek Romów do edukacji]. Studia Edukacyjne nr 26, 2013, Pozna ń  2013, pp. 337-355. Adam Mickiewicz University Press. ISBN 978-83-232-2658-1. ISSN 1233-6688 This study presents selected results of a qualitative research project focused on the lifelong process of developing Roma relations to education and learning. The project was implemented as part of the doctoral dissertation entitled Socio-Andragogic Contexts of Roma Education , whose aim was to systematize existing knowledge about the nature and impact of external factors on Roma education and to draw attention to these factors as they seem to have a domi-nant influence on the development of Roma relationships to education and learning.  Key words:  Roma, education, social andragogy, socialization, upbringing, relation to education Introduction The present paper examines the education of the Roma ethnic, focus-ing on a complex of factors determining their education and their re-sults. We consider factors that make education of Roma more difficult or complicated. In addition, we focused on possible incentives to improve the quality of education and its results at different levels (educational system, socio-cultural environment, individual level). Due to the com-plexity of the interaction between the individual and society we have been forced to look at the defined problems from the perspective of vari-ous disciplines, especially educational sciences (andragogy, pedagogy), sociology (especially the sociology of education), as well as from the viewpoints of psychology or culturology 1 .  ________________ 1  We draw our current knowledge also from the practical application of a number of actions in the field of education and social policies. STUDIA EDUKACYJNE NR 26/2013  338 Marek Luká č   The low educational level of Roma is generally considered to be the main source of social problems, which have been typically associated with the Roma ethnic group throughout their history. They are reflected in a low quality of life in general and become part of the professional and lay perception of Roma people as a problematic social group. Education is considered to be crucial from the perspective of integra-tion of Roma people into society. For several decades, we have seen an increase in intensity in the field of scientific exploration related to the education of the Roma minority, the development and application of various actions at different levels (creation of strategies, policies, specific teaching procedures, etc.); new monographs, textbooks and teaching materials are published; more and more funding is provided for educa-tion from EU funds; the professional potential in the form of specialized departments and teaching staff is extending, etc. Despite these efforts, however, no significant increase in the educational level of the Roma ethnic has been observed. Problems with low school attendance, school achievement, segregation in education persist. The general attitude to education is still the most significant issue in the Roma community. D. Šlosár 2  argues that it comes from the meaning that education has in their everyday life, the circulus vitiosus  (low educational level) being the cause of Roma people’s low social status. Their low social status strenghtens inadequate processes of forming relations to education, as a result of which the vicious circle is closed. Theoretical background and the current state of knowledge The formation of relation to education is a multidimensional process, which is why it is not possible to explore it on the basis of the single-sided prevalence of a particular theoretical and methodological ap-proach. The basic theories used herein are theories of education repro-duction socialization. In the process of forming relation to education, the intergenerational transmission of the value of education  plays the key role in the family environment. It is determined by the level of the social, cultural, and economic capital in Roma families. According to our research objectives, we consider P. Bourdieau’s 3  theory as the most suitable. The author de-fines the notion of economic, social, cultural, and symbolic capital, which  ________________ 2  D. Šlosár, Edukácia Rómov, Košický samosprávny kraj, Košice 2010, p. 24. 3  P. Bourdieu, Forms of capital , [in:] Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociol-ogy of Education, ed. J.C. Richards, New York 1985, p. 241-258.   Relation of Roma to Education  339 he uses to explain the social and cultural reproduction of society. The cultural capital is formed in the process of socialization, the school and the family having the greatest impact on its acquisition. It presents a disposition that comes from the quality of the cultural environment that a person grows up in. The cultural capital of the family is reflected in the child’s capacity at school and strengthened by the selective mechanism of school. Therefore, we focused on the school and family environments as fun-damental factors determining an individual’s relation to education. The cultural capital is the central category of our research, our perception of cultural capital being closest to P. Ondrejkovi č ’s (2011) 4  interpretation. The author claims that a successful education, in addition to material security and education of parents, is determined by the amount of time and the way of parents’ engagement in children's upbringing. Other important theoretical concepts from the perspective of educa-tion as a lifelong process were theories of socialization, particularly their elaboration theories of adult person formation. In Slovakia, the theory of education of adults has been developed by J. Perhács 5 , who focuses on the personalization and socialization aspects of adults’ development. Personalization is a phase of socialization especially typical for adult-hood. An adult person is able to create their own personality based on self-regulation, which gives an opportunity to overrule possible deficien-cies springing from the period of childhood and youth. Adult personali-ties are formed from their own internal sources as independent subjec-tive beings – a structure integrating crossing internal and external in-fluences, material and ideal incentives as the constitutive factors of psy-chosomatic and ontogenetic development (Machá č ek) 6 . An important resource for our work was the assumption that the potentiality of man to actively form themselves and their living conditions should increase as they get older and their personality matures. Ján Perhács (1992) 7  notes that individuals can manage themselves according to their own individ-ual goals and plans of personal development. Personalities are moulded in the dynamic interaction of external (socialization) and internal (auto-  ________________ 4  P. Ondrejkovi č , Sociálny a kultúrny kapitál ako sociálne hodnoty, normy a ciele vo výchove a vzdelávaní  ,, 2011, nr 4, p. 228-246.   5  J. Perhács, Utváranie osobnosti dospelého č  loveka v procese vzdelávania , Národné osvetové centrum, Bratislava 1995, p. 93. J. Perhács,  Personaliza č  né a socializa č  né aspekty rozvoja osobnosti, Č eská a sloven-ská andragogika, Praha 2011, p. 157. 6  L. Machá č ek, Genera č  ný problém ako spolo č  ný problém generácií, http://www. dokument/suchy.pdf, [accessed on: 20.3.2013]. 7  J. Perhács, Teória školskej výchovy a vzdelávania dospelých, Univerzita Komen-ského, Bratislava 1992, p. 137.  340 Marek Luká č   regulation) mechanisms 8 . The socialization of a Roma family individual needs to be perceived against the background of the cultural specifica-tions of the Roma environment.  As for socially disadvantaged target groups, methodological inspira-tion was found in the theoretical concepts developed by P. Freire (1972, in: Fay, 2002) 9 . The author appeals to educational sciences to form edu-cational activities that could help socially disadvantaged individuals realize their active behaviour skills. We perceive an individual’s relation to education as a result of a mutual and dynamic interaction between social conditions  (especially cultural and familial factors) and intraper-sonal conditions.  It involves the objective determination of the environ-ment and its subjective meaning (based on self-reflection) for a particu-lar individual. We relate the results of these processes to the individal  potential of our participants and their motivation to further education 10 . The issue of Roma education has been extensively elaborated on in recent literature. Only selected publications are mentioned here, namely those published after the social changes in 1989. At that time, or shortly after, a rich system of theoretical konwledge related to Romology began to form. From the viewpoint of our research interests, publications ana-lyzing education in a wider social context played a crucial role (Kušni-eriková, 2001 11 ; Valachová et al., 2002 12 ; Da ň o – Ď uri č eková, 2004 13 ; Kosová, 2004, 2006 14 ; Rosinský, 2006 15  etc.). These authors deal with the issue of Roma education from various points of view – related to various areas of social life or in the process of education to its particular compo-nents. Research devoted to adult Roma education has been implented by  ________________ 8  S. Holubková, Špecifiká rómskeho rodinného prostredia ako faktora socializácie a personalizácie osobnosti die ť  a ť  a, [in:] Rodinné prostredie ako faktor socializácie a per-sonalizácie osobnosti die ť  a ť  a , ed. J. Šatánek, UMB FHV, Banská Bystrica 2004, p. 55. 9  P. Freire,  Pedagogy of the Oppressed , New York and Herder 1972, [in:] B. Fay, Sou- č  asná filosofie sociálních v ě  d , Slon, Praha 2002, p. 87. 10  We consider further education as an assumption to personal development and ac-tive life changes. 11  N. Kušnieriková,  Prístupy k vzdelávaniu Rómov v minulosti, [in:] Č  a č  ipen pal o Roma. Súhrnná správa o Rómoch na Slovensku , ed. M. Vaše č ka, IVO, Bratislava 2002, p. 679-694. 12  D. Valachová et al., Vzdelávanie Rómov a multikultúrna koexistencia , SPN, Brati-slava 2002, p. 205. 13  J. Da ň o, M. Ď uri č eková, Cesty vzdelanosti Rómov, Metodické centrum Prešov, Prešov 2004, p. 134. 14  B. Kosová (ed.), Rómske etnikum – jeho špecifiká a vzdelávanie. Zborník príspevkov z pracovného seminára , ed. B. Kosová, UMB, Banská Bystrica 2004, p. 211. B. Kosová (ed.), Edukácia rómskych žiakov. Zborník vedecko-výskumných prác z riešenia úloh štátnej objednávky , ed. B. Kosová, UMB, Banská Bystrica 2006, p. 174. 15  R. Rosinský, Č  havale Romale alebo motivácia rómskych žiakov k u č  eniu.  UKF, Ni-tra 2006, p. 263.   Relation of Roma to Education  341 D. Šlosár (2010) 16 , T. Loran (2007, 2008) 17 , M. Luká č  (2006, 2010) 18  and J. Balvín (2012) 19 . Another inspiring publication was recently written by T. Katr ň ák –  Destined for Manual Job: Educational Reproduction in Working Class Family  (2004) 20 , where the author presents the results of a research project focuse on the intergeneration transmission of educa-tional status in the Czech Republic. The impact of the environment on education and the issue of socialization of Roma children has been dealt with by J. Šatánek (ed., 2004) 21 , L. Hor ň ák and I. Scholtzová (2005) 22 , and R. Rosinský (2006) 23 . Research objectives and methods The aim of this paper is to systematize the existing knowledge re-lated to the nature and impact of external factors on the education of Roma. We focus on factors that have a dominant influence on the forma-tion of relations between Roma people and education.Our paper is based on research in an urban environment (a separated community) using qualitative methods and a case study procedure. In general, our research issue is the complex of conditions  that the education of Roma is realized in. We focused on context of education, its process, as well as the intensity of external factor influencing education and its results. The synthesizing category – the relation of Roma to edu-cation - is the main object  of our research. The main goal  of our research is to identify and analyze the process of forming the relation of Roma  people to education; to analyze the influence of the major factors of so-  ________________ 16  D. Šlosár, Edukácia Rómov , p. 24. 17  T. Loran,  Potreby vedomostnej ekonomiky – verzus eduka č  ná paradigma exkludo-vaných Rómov , [in:] Národnostné a etnické menšiny na Slovensku 2006. Fórum inštitút pre výskum menšín, Šamorín 2007, p. 16; T. Loran, Ľ udský kapitál u marginalizovaných Rómov z aspektu edukácie a potrieb znalostného trhu práce . [in:] Národnostné a etnické menšiny na Slovensku 2007, Fórum inštitút pre výskum menšín, Šamorín 2008, p. 7-95. 18  M. Luká č , S. Luká č ová, Rómovia a u č  iaca sa spolo č  nos ť  ,  Vzdelávanie dospelých, 2006, 3, p. 12-18; M. Luká č , Rómovia – špecifická cie ľ  ová skupina vzdelávania dospelých,  [w:] Vzdelávanie dospelých v poznatkovo orientovanej spolo č  nosti. Zborník príspevkov z vedeckej konferencie s medzinárodnou ú č  as ť  ou, red. I. Pirohová, E. Luká č , FF PU, Prešov 2010, p. 269-276. 19  J. Balvín,  Pedagogika, andragogika a multikulturalita , Hnutí R, Praha 2012, p. 232. 20  T. Katr ň ák, Odsouzeni k manuální práci , Slon, Praha 2004, p. 190. 21   Rodinné prostredie ako faktor socializácie a personalizácie die ť  a ť  a , ed. J. Šatánek, UMB, B. Bystrica 2004. 22  L. Hor ň ák, I. Scholtzová, Cesty k zvyšovaniu socializácie rómskeho etnika. Zborník  príspevkov z pracovného seminára , Prešovská univerzita, Prešov 2005, p. 247. 23  R. Rosinský, Č  havale Romale , p. 263.
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