ECER 2018, Bolzano, Italy

Inclusion and Exclusion at a time of increasing social change?

At the ECER 2018 Conference in Bolzano, the overarching research theme of ‘Inclusion and Exclusion’ raised fears around a return to “Fortress Europe,” and in spite of our increasingly diverse, global and multicultural societies and schools, what can we as researchers do? The irony of the conference being held in Italy, just at the time when national sea ports were being closed to refugees, was not lost on the global conference attendees.

I had interesting conversations with both emerging and more experienced researchers from Bolzano, Portugal, Russia and Hungary, who were particularly concerned with issues around the social integration and education of pupils from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Many commented on the familiarity the UK must have in inter-cultural education and were interested to hear UK perspectives on the matter, but were also keen to understand how research and practice may be impacted in the light of “Brexit”.

Aunam Quyoum is a PhD Student in the School of Education, The University of Sheffield.