Francesca Gobbo Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesFrancesca Gobbo has been Professor of Intercultural Education at the University of Turin (Italy), where she also taught Anthropology of Education until retiring in 2014.

Francesca Gobbo

She was Fulbright grantee (1969), Research Assistant at UC Berkeley (1973-74), Research Assistant with the Carnegie Foundation at Yale University (1974), Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley (1995) and Harvard University (2001). She has lectured at the University of Reading (UK), Charles in Prague (CZ) and Amsterdam (NL).

She studies and teaches contemporary educational issues from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective that combines educational theory with methodological and theoretical approaches from the fields of cultural anthropology and anthropology of education. She coordinates research on Italian schools attended by immigrant pupils. Her own ethnographic research has been carried out among Italy’s “internal minorities” such as the Albanian speaking minority of Calabria, the Waldensian religious minority in Piedmont and the occupational minority of travelling fairground and circus people. Her contribution to the understanding of these Italian minority group’s meaning of education and schooling experience is relevant to the widening of the discourse and research on intercultural education, as it questions definitions of multiculturalism and interculture as exclusive results of the migratory flows, underlines the problem of power balance (or lack of it) as a fundamental one for an intercultural perspective and singles out the political as well as educational strategies that foster the idea of a homogeneous national culture while continuing to produce minority culture’s persistence.

Her long standing professional interests in the cultural and social changes obtaining in complex societies (particularly in the North America and in European countries) and in their schools developed first from her studies and research in anthropology of education at UC Berkeley, and it continued with her participation into associations such as the “International Association for Intercultural Education” (IAIE) and the “European Education Research Association” (EERA). She was elected Board member of IAIE in 2005 and 2010. In EERA she was linkperson for the network “Social Justice and Intercultural Education” from 2003 to 2007, and was one of the founding members of the network “Ethnography”.

She was Associate Editor in Chief of Intercultural Education from 2005 to 2007, and again in 2014. She is on the editorial boards of the following journals: Intercultural Education, European Educational Research Journal, Ethnography and Education, and International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning.

Her involvement into educational research at the international level is indicated by her participation into the following Comenius projects:
2007/2009 – DG Education and Culture proposal “Strategies for supporting schools and teachers to foster social inclusion”
2007/2009 – Comenius P7 Multilateral proposal “Teacher In-Service Training for Roma Inclusion” (INSETRom)(134215-2007-IT-COMENIUS-CMP)
2004/2006 – Comenius 2.1 Project entitled Effective teaching and learning for minority-language children in pre-school.
1997/1999 – Comenius 3 Project entitled Cooperative Learning in Intercultural Education in Europe (“CLIP”).

In the field of intercultural education and anthropology of education, she has published Radici e frontiere (Padova, 1992), Pedagogia interculturale (Roma, 2000) and A proposito di intercultura (Padova, 2011). She edited Antropologia dell’educazione (Milano, 1996), Cultura Intercultura (Padova, 1997), La quotidiana diversità (Padova, 1998, with M. Tommaseo Ponzetta), Multiculturalismo e intercultura (Padova, 2003), Etnografia dell’educazione in Europa (Milano, 2003), Etnografia nei contesti educative (Roma, 2003, with A. M. Gomes), Processi educativi nelle società multiculturali (Roma, 2007), La ricerca per una scuola che cambia (Padova, 2007), L’educazione al tempo dell’intercultura (Roma, 2008), Il Cooperative Learning nelle società multiculturali (Milano, 2010), Antropologia e educazione in America Latina (Roma, 2010, with C. Tallé).

In English she edited Social Justice and Intercultural Education (Stoke on Trent, 2007, with Bhatti, Gaine and Leeman). She contributed chapters to the Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education Interculturalism (J. Banks ed., Sage, 2012) , Education and Dialogue (T. Besley & M. Peters eds., Peter Lang, 2012), Anthropologies of education (K. Anderson Levitt ed., Berghahn Books, 2011), Travellers, Nomadic and Migrant Education (P. Danaher, M. Kenny and Leder eds., Routledge 2009), International Handbook on Urban Education (Pink and Noblit eds., Springer, 2007), Transmission of Knowledge as a Problem of Culture and Identity (Kučera, Rochex, Štech eds., The Karolinum Press 2001), Educational Research in Europe, Yearbook 2000 (Day, van Veen eds., Garant 2000), and (with R. Ricucci) to International perspectives on countering school segregation (Bakker, Denessen, Peters, Walraven eds., Garant 2011). She is Section Editor (with Kathryn Anderson-Levitt) for the Smeyers P., Bridges D., Burbules N. C., Griffiths M. Eds., International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research Methods, Springer, Dordrecht, 2015 forthcoming, to which she also contributed a chapter (“People ‘of passage’: an intercultural educator’s interpretation of diversity and cultural identity”). She will contribute a chapter to a forthcoming anthology by W. Pink & G. Noblit Eds, Education, Equity and Economy: Studies Toward the Future of Socially Just Education, Springer, forthcoming, and act as Section Editor for Western Europe of the second edition of the W. Pink & G. Noblit Eds., International Handbook on Urban Education, Springer, forthcoming. She has published many articles in international journals.

Paola Giorgis Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesPaola Giorgis teaches English Language, Literature and Visual Arts in Italian high schools and holds a PhD in Anthropology of Education and Intercultural Education.

Paola Giorgis

She is co-founder and member of wom.an.ed – women’s studies in anthropology and education. Her main interest interest regards a critical and intercultural approach to Foreign Language Education, that is, how Foreign Language Education can be used to develop an awareness of different languages, representations and cultural conceptualizations able to favor intercultural communication. All through her teaching years, she has observed many episodes which confirm the capability of (foreign) language(s) to foreground many aspects connected both to personal and collective identities, dynamics and representations, displaying how learning and using a non-mother tongue can question, challenge and problematize meanings, assumptions and representations taken-for-granted, thus remoduling the perception and the representation of the self and others. Therefore, she believes that Foreign Language Education should undergo further several radical shifts, definitively abandoning an essentialist view of the target language/culture to foster a more nuanced, and critical, view of the relation between language and culture.

In her PhD research, sshe investigated cross-linguistic interactions among adolescents in multicultural and plurilinguistic contexts from the perspective of Linguistic Anthropology, Intercultural Education, and Critical Linguistics and Pedagogies. Her findings show that cross-linguistic interactions reshape personal and collective identities, constantly moving and recombining the (narrated) borders of language, identity and ethnicity: bottom-up language practices can facilitate intercultural encounters and create spaces in-between for trans-cultural affiliations, and are also able to reveal aspects linked to language creativity and to the personal agency of speakers as social agents.

She also focuses on the issue of power connected to languages, and on how Critical Pedagogies can address them, examining in particular the challenges and the opportunities advanced by the English language(s). At the intersection of global phenomena and local appropriations, of norms and variations, of homogenization and subversion, English has triggered fierce debates on the linguistic, sociocultural, political, ideological and pedagogical implications of its widespread, but also on the potentially creative and critical appropriations from below that it can elicit. She assumes that, precisely for its multifaceted quality and the controversies it arises, English language(s) can represent the ideal site to observe how individual and collective representations of culture and identity move through language affiliations and appropriations. She is also interested in what could be called ‘Applied Literary Criticism in L2’, as she examines the experience of the literary text in L2, and in particular of Poetry in L2, as an open space for a renewed imagination able to disclose one’s emotions and empathize with others’, in a way less conditioned by memories and (self-appointed or given) roles connected to one’s linguacultural background.

She is affiliated with ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe), lend (lingua e nuova didattica – Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching) and IAIE (International Association for Intercultural Education); she is a referee for Confluenze, an online journal on the Human Sciences, and a referee and book reviewer for Intercultural Education, a journal published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

She has published the monograph Diversi da sé, simili agli altri. L2, letteratura e immaginazione come pratiche di pedagogia interculturale (Different from One’s Self, Similar to Others: L2, Literature & Imagination as Practices of Intercultural Education), Roma: CISU (2013), as well as chapters in collective volumes, articles in international journals, and participated at several international conferences. She has published a book as well:

Giorgis, P. (2018). Meeting foreignness: Foreign languages and foreign language education as critical and intercultural experiences. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Paola Giorgis may be contacted via email.

Zvi Bekerman Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesZvi Bekerman, Ph.D. teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also a Research Fellow at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University and a faculty member of the Mandel Leadership Institute.

His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. His recent research has focused on the different ways in which adults/teachers and children manage communication conductive to identity construction and negotiation and the relevance attached to identity construction and negotiation in educational contexts in general and more specifically educational contexts in conflict ridden societies.

Since 1999 he has been conducting a long term ethnographic research project in the integrated/bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel. He has also recently become involved in the study of identity construction and development in educational computer-mediated environments. In brief, his interests lie in human learning processes, their development, and practice, both in formal/informal and real/virtual environments. He has published numerous papers in these fields of study and is the Editor (with Seonaigh MacPherson) of the refereed journal Diaspora, Indigenous, ad Minority Education: An International Journal (Routledge, 2007). Among his recently published books: with Michalinos Zembylas, Psychologized language in education: Denaturalizing a regime of truth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); The Promise of Integrated, Multicultural, and Bilingual Education: Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel (Oxford University Press, 2016); with Diana Silberman-Keller, Henry A. Giroux, and Nicholas Burbules, Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education (2008); with Nicholas Burbules and Diana Keller Silverman, an edited volume entitled: Learning in Places: The Informal Education Reader (Peter Lang, 2006); with Claire McGlynn a volume entitled Addressing Ethnic Conflict through Peace Education: International Perspectives (Palgrave McMillan, 2007); and with Ezra Kopelowitz Cultural Education-Cultural Sustainability: Minority, Diaspora, Indigenous and Ethno-Religious Groups in Multicultural Societies (Routledge, 2008).

He can be reached via email.