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GRIT - 2018-2020


Diversity has become a main issue in the European Union especially since the enlargement of 2004 where ten countries, mainly from the Eastern part of Europe entered the EU. It is also a main reference in the motto of the EU-  ‘united in diversity’. ‘Unity’ is not an end in itself but has a specific goal: forging a ‘common destiny’ (Gialdino, 2017). The notion of ‘diversity’ lies in the strong call for peoples to be proud of their national identities and history and for the respect of everyone’s rights.

Striking a balance between unity and diversity is crucial. Too much unity would run the risk of standardisation and therefore the destruction of national identities. Too much diversity could easily prevent intentions from converging and, in the long term, undermine the construction of a re-united Europe. Diversity is a genetic heritage of our continent in which unifying factors such as a single language, a common religion or a central power able to impose a uniform European model are lacking (Giscard d’Estaing, 2005). A reasonable balance therefore has to be struck between the needs of diversity and the need to form a coherent whole.

 Urban education is a recently developing field of education which builds on the diversity approach in education. A central question in this field is how can educators working in a urban environment cope with diversity- assets and main barriers they are faced to? 

Typical students’ self-efficacy or the belief of students in their capabilities to achieve a goal or outcome is identified as a key aspect to increase their success at school.  Hence, it is vital for teachers to be able to foster all students self-efficacy. The GRIT-project is an acronym that refers to this theme of the role of a growth mindset in diverse urban educational settings. In English the word stands for ‘courage and determination despitedifficulty’ (Cambridge dictionary online).


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EducOPera - 2017-2019


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ISOTIS - Education inclusive et soutien social pour lutter contre les inégalités dans la société - 2016-2017

ISOTIS - Education inclusive et soutien social pour lutter contre les inégalités dans la sociétéISOTIS - Education inclusive et soutien social pour lutter contre les inégalités dans la société

In the context of increasing diversity, the social mobility of children of disadvantaged families not only depends on educational achievement, but also on social and cultural integration. One of the key challenges for Western societies is their growing cultural heterogeneity (Putnam, 2007). This heterogeneity not only concerns differences between ethnic-cultural groups, but equally differences within these groups (Crul, 2015). Vertovec (2006) has coined the term super-diversity to refer to the complex interplay of ethnicity, religion, language, traditions, and cultural values and practices. Europe’s education systems are in the centre of this super-diversity. It is particularly within classrooms that diversity is contested (Valdes, 1998). How well students from immigrant and cultural minority groups achieve at school is not only related to their attitudes, socioeconomic status and prior education, but also to the quality and receptiveness of the education system (OECD, 2015).

Related to the increasing cultural diversity, there is increasing linguistic diversity. Linguistic diversity is a challenge for Europe’s education systems (Gogolin, 2002; van Gorp & Moons, 2014; Young, 2014; Vetter, 2013). With sustained immigration from countries outside Europe, the increasing migration between European countries, and the recent arrival of refugee families, the number of children who learn the school language as second language is rapidly increasing (Akgündüz et al., 2015a; Eurostat, 2015). Children growing up with a different language than the language of the school, show persistent educational disadvantages over and above disadvantages that arise from low socioeconomic status (Crosson & Lesaux, 2013; Leseman & van Tuijl, 2006; Stanat & Christensen, 2006). Even if multilingualism is favoured, current linguistic super-diversity poses many problems for curriculum, pedagogy and teachers’ competences.

Children from native-born low income families, often with a working class background that spans several generations, show persistent educational disadvantages as well. In many respects these families form cultural communities characterized by shared beliefs, values and practices, and ways of talking (Bernstein, 1975; Heath, 1983; Lareau, 2003; Leseman & van Tuijl, 2006). Family support and early education are equally needed to prevent educational disadvantage in this group. In local neighbourhoods, native-born low-income families often live together with immigrant families in an increasingly diverse and multilingual context, share local services and early childhood provisions, and enrol their children in the same schools. There are tensions reflecting rivalry between groups, lack of inter-cultural contact and decreasing support for multicultural integration, undermining social cohesion (van der Meer & Tolsma, 2014).

Segregation tendencies are a particular manifest in primary and secondary education, with some schools becoming predominantly ‘white’ and others ‘black’ ethnic-cultural minority schools, though segregation also occurs in the ECEC system (Vandenbroeck, 2015). Social and ethnic segregation gives rise to diversity in the quality of learning environments (Brunello & Checchi, 2007). A high concentration of children with disadvantages in a single school leads to accumulation of family-related risks and cognitive delays that decrease the effectiveness of instruction, lower expectations of teachers, and threaten the social climate in schools (Cadima et al., 2013; Loeb et al., 1998; de Haan et al., 2013; Wright & Neuman, 2014).

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JUCIVOL - 2016-2018


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Schola-un tutorat pour les éducateurs pour valoriser un bénévolat - 2016-2018

Schola-un tutorat pour les éducateurs pour valoriser un bénévolatSchola-un tutorat pour les éducateurs pour valoriser un bénévolat

Initiated by the Collège Blaise Pascal (Massy, Essonne) together with riv conseil, the project Schola - selected during the call for proposals Erasmus + 2016- gathers a European team in France, Belgium (Karel De Grote Hogeschool, Anvers), Italy (Universita degli Studi di Perugia, Pérouse), Slovenia (ZRC-SAZU), and Poland (University of Jagiellonski, Cracow). The Schola project aims at offering new approaches to strengthen the education and training paths of prospective and practicing educators/youth workers ; equipping them with all competences and skills needed to deliver high quality services and address increasingly diverse needs e.g those posed by multicultural societies. It is an innovative project aiming to reduce disparities in learning outcomes affecting learners from disadvantaged backgrounds/with fewer opportunities.

The Schola project addresses mainly educators in the broad sense- professionals and volunteers working with youngsters facing difficulties at school or already drop outs living considered as learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. Its  aims and objectives  are: to acquire knowledge on the reasons for an early school leaving (ESL) and the strategies offered to struggle against it, both on national and European levels ; to motivate mentors – teachers and professionals in association - by understanding  the role they play in the educative community through extra-school activities ; to learn to learn on insisting on the key competences (EU, 2006) and the different types of learning (formal, non-formal, informal - Copenhagen process) and the combination between volunteers and professionals in the field ; to explain the benefits of  alternative pedagogical strategies, in complement to school, on the basis of  a voluntary experience (cf SAS project).


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