Interculturalism, education and society: Education policies for immigrant students in Italy
The article seeks to illustrate Italian educational policies for students with an immigrant background within the context of the EU intercultural framework. Italy can be considered the EU country where interculturalism is more widely recognized in terms of pedagogical theory and school legislation. However, the Italian approach is characterized by a weak and contradictory relationship between policy, teaching strategies and educational experiences. To support this argument, I will refer to a review of Italian sociological studies, which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the interculturalism as applied to the Italian education system. The conflict between theory and practices is illustrated by empirical findings that suggest immigrant students are still not granted equality of opportunity, linguistic and cultural diversities are almost absent from most school curricula, and a positive dialogue between culturally different subjects is still more of an aspiration than a fact. More research is needed in order to monitor and evaluate if intercultural practice is indeed a true expression of the ideas to which it aspires.