Research published in European Education examines how policies that are meant to help encourage inclusion of communities can in fact achieve the opposite.
The research examines how policy design and the general public in Slovakia construct Roma students and parents as irresponsible dependents and deviants who do not value education and are incapable of making wise decisions about their lives. This belief is held despite the pro-inclusive efforts in place, because negative social images of a certain societal group are embedded in the policies.
These findings can be considered relevant for policy formulation processes because pro-inclusive policies may sabotage their own goals.
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from two selected educational policies and five focus groups conducted in five regions in Slovakia.
Guest editor Eben Friedman said, "This research is particularly important insofar as it points to the need to examine carefully the assumptions on which policies designed to promote Roma inclusion are based. In so doing, it picks up on the broader theme of how the consequences of policies sometimes not only go beyond what was intended, but sometimes also work against the aims which the policies were to serve."
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Jozef Miškolci et al. Trying to Include but Supporting Exclusion Instead? Constructing the Roma in Slovak Educational Policies, European Education (2017). DOI: 10.1080/10564934.2017.1280337