Enhancing Personal and Environmental Factors to Nurture the Inclusion of Italian Learners in Malta: A Case Study





Inclusion, Migrant learners, Italian learners in Malta, Personal and environmental factors, Parents' views, Guardians' views


In order to investigate how the combination of experiences, relationships, activities and initiatives act in unison, facilitating inclusive processes on some occasions and creating obstacles to it on others, in this contribution on Italian migrant leaners in Malta we adopt a biopsychosocial perspective, inspired by the WHO’s ICF-CY anthropological model. We interviewed ten parents/guardians to obtain insights on personal and environmental factors that affect inclusion in Maltese Secondary schools. Our findings reveal that parents/guardians relate personality factors to successful inclusion (e.g. adaptability, entrepreneurship and sociability), as well as involvement in extra-curricular activities. The Maltese schooling context, a competitive approach to learning, traditional teaching methodologies and lack of support represent barriers to inclusion. The holistic model we adopt shows that to guarantee quality inclusive pedagogies initial teacher education and continuing professional development must be addressed. Maltese schools must build better bridges with families, embracing inclusive perspectives from an eco-systemic educational viewpoint.


Author Biographies

Barbara Baschiera, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia – barbara-baschiera@unive.it

Barbara Baschiera is a RTDB at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, teaching Didactics, Special Pedagogy, Inclusive Education, Educational Innovation, and Training Design. After serving as a Senior Lecturer for six years at the University of Malta, she returned to Italy, continuing to pursue her research interests in the fields of inclusion, active teaching, intergenerational learning, and Universal Design for Learning. Among her latest publications are: "When migrant learners are Italian: perceptions of learning support educators on the inclusion of Italians in Maltese schools"; "When intergenerational interdependence creates new scenarios of inclusion for Special Pedagogy. The Be the Change project (Boosting Entrepreneurship Through Intergenerational Exchange)"; and "Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT) – An Intergenerational Program for Youth and Older Adults Aimed at Promoting a More Equitable Society."

Sandro Caruana, Department of Languages and Humanities in Education, University of Malta – sandro.caruana@um.edu.mt

Sandro Caruana is Professor of Italian language teaching methodology and is former Dean (2015-2019), Faculty of Education, University of Malta. He holds courses on Italian language teaching and learning, linguistics, sociolinguistics and intercultural communication. His main areas of interest include multilingualism, language attitudes, second language acquisition and the Italo-Romance stratum of Maltese. He has participated in international projects on his areas of specialisation, published his work internationally and gave presentations at several conferences, also as keynote speaker. In 2018 he was awarded the title of Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia for his significant contribution towards the promotion of Italian culture and the strengthening of relationships between Italy and Malta.


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How to Cite

Baschiera, B., & Caruana, S. (2023). Enhancing Personal and Environmental Factors to Nurture the Inclusion of Italian Learners in Malta: A Case Study. Formazione & Insegnamento, 21(3), 98–106. https://doi.org/10.7346/-fei-XXI-03-23_12

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