School mediation: Stakes, Risks and Side Effects
CBEES Advanced Seminar with Aurora Ailincai from the Council of Europe.
Speaker: Aurora Ailincai, Deputy Head of Division, Roma and Travellers Team, Council of Europe
Chair: Kimmo Granqvist, Professor in Romani Studies, CBEES
Discussant: Christina Rodell Olgaç, Associate Professor and a senior lecturer of Education at Södertörn University.
School mediation, a flagship measure in Romania to promote Roma children's access to education, targets a minority whose socio-economic level is well below the national average, and which has in the past suffered from destructive measures ranging from slavery up to extermination during the Nazi period.
This research, which examines the stakes, risks and side effects of mediation using the Bronfenbrenner ecosystem (Bronfenbrenner, 2005) highlights the gap between school’s expectations with regard to the mediator and the reality with its systemic political, social and economic problems. Mediation reveals the causes of social grievances and highlights the deeper explanations of inequalities and disruptions.
For mediation to be effective, institutions need to be open to change within their own operating philosophy and to power sharing, and ready to find appropriate structural solutions and measures to address the challenges posed by the school situation of Roma children.
After finishing her Master’s Degree in Political Sciences and European Studies at Sorbonne University in Paris, Ms Aurora Ailincai joined the Council of Europe in 2003 within the Directorate of Education, where she was responsible of activities related to inclusive intercultural education.
In 2007, she was observer for the elections in Kosovo with a special focus on Kosovar IDPs and refugees voting from the territory of Serbia. Between 2008 and 2010 she was responsible of inclusive education activities for Ashkali, Roma and Egyptian minorities in the context of the education reform in Kosovo.
Between 2009 and 2011 she was visiting lecturer at the University of French Guyana teaching programme design in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural contexts, as well as the creation of networks and partnerships. From 2010, she became coordinator of several European programmes focusing on local governance and active citizenship. She is also responsible for the promotion of inclusive education, the teaching of the Remembrance of the Roma genocide and the inclusion of Roma in higher education.
She is currently Deputy Head of Division within the Roma and Travellers Team in the Council of Europe. She has a PhD in educational sciences from the University of Strasbourg. Her PhD research focused on school mediation and related challenges in view of existing inequalities and structural barriers in the education system. Her areas of research focus on policies and practices in education, school and cultural mediation, as well as inclusive education.