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    From inference processes to situations of misunderstanding
    In this paper, we describe inferences on a school task, which are reconstructed by the mean of two perspectives from argumentation theory: The pragma-dialectical model and Grize’s natural logic. Both analyses focus on the same item of mathematics, issued from a PISA survey, in order to discuss their specific contribution in elucidating the actual reasoning involved in both the student's answer and the evaluator’s expectations. The mismatch between these two points of view allow us to discuss the potentiality of a situation of misunderstanding. Investigating how specific tasks in particular contexts are interpreted provides a contribution to methodological approaches treating thinking processes as situated and socially negotiated from a diversity of points of views, as for example Inhelder’s (1962 microgenetic approach. In order to extend such analysis to interpretations of discourse, an interdisciplinary approach combining argumentation theory and socio-cognitive psychology is needed. Here, we observed for instance that students may provide the expected answers and still interpret the question or problem differently from the task’s designers (or “teacher”). The meaning of language and other signs, such as graphs or mathematical symbols, cannot be taken for granted when several interlocutors are involved. This issue chiefly concerns argumentation theory, since it raises the question of the integration of specific contexts and points of view in the analysis of argumentation. Therefore, argumentation should be analysed also as a process, and not only as a product; For more detail on this distinction, see for instance Grize (1996) and Kuhn & Udell (2003, 2007).
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    Welcoming mobile children at school: institutional responses and new questions
    (2021-3-19) ;
    Clarke-Habibi, Sara
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    Switzerland, like other countries in Europe, has long depended on migration and mobility for its economy. Facilitating the integration of migrant children in school, primarily through the acquisition of the local language, has therefore been a priority for policymakers. In recent years, mobility has been on the increase and mobility trajectories have become more diverse. A growing percentage of families arriving in the country have experienced repeated mobility and may not plan to settle in Switzerland for good. This paper examines institutional responses to the increasing number of mobile children in Swiss public schools, in particular, the manner in which such children are welcomed. It presents the main findings of an exploratory research project focused on children in repeated mobility, defined as having lived in multiple countries before their arrival in Switzerland, regardless of family background or legal status. Adopting a sociocultural psychological approach, the paper examines the macro-social level of cantonal educational policies regarding welcome processes, the meso-social level of local school policies, and the microsocial level of teachers’ practices and interactions in classrooms that welcome mobile children. Data include documentary analysis, interviews, and observations. Our analysis shows that a deficit view of mobile children and the preoccupation with language proficiency dominate policies and practices, resulting in the diversion of mobile children into special integration classes (so called “classes d’accueil” in the French speaking region, and “Integrationsklasse” in the Swiss German-speaking region). Mobility is conceptualized by Swiss policymakers, school directors, and teachers in terms of its challenges. In particular, school directors and teachers conceptualize mobility as increasing heterogeneity of the classroom. However, the situation varies greatly according to the personal orientations of school directors and teachers’ personal engagement. The paper emphasizes the ambiguous role of the integration classes: while they may impair the long-term chances of educational success by reducing academic expectations for non-native-speaking mobile children, they may also be used as “third spaces” which afford pedagogical freedom for dedicated teachers, potentially of benefit for children. The paper examines these propositions in the light of sociocultural educational literature and draws upon the case of welcoming mobile children to question a series of assumptions about the ultimate purposes of public schooling in Europe today.
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    Using Symbolic Resources to Overcome Institutional Barriers: A Case Study of an Albanian-Speaking Young Woman in Switzerland
    The school failure of migrant children is often explained by their supposed cultural deficit and by mechanisms of social inequalities reproduced by the school institution. However, such hypotheses fail to account for learning trajectories that would escape from social or cultural determinism. For this, we need to turn to students’ own school experiences, about which little is known. In this chapter, we draw on a sociocultural psychological approach that considers the interdependency between sociocultural contexts and personal life trajectories to go beyond a deficit approach. More specifically, we examine how migrant children’s uses of cultural elements can support their meaning-making when confronted to settings preventing their involvement. By means of a case study, we show how a young Kosovar woman in Switzerland performed well at school, overcoming social and institutional barriers. We, moreover, show how rather than nurturing a conflictual relationship with the school institution, she could draw on different symbolic resources that favored her involvement at school. We thus argue for the necessity to study school experiences of migrant children as dynamics involving a creative dialogue between home and school through the use of cultural and symbolic resources, and discuss theoretical and practical implications of such a perspective.
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    Do adult-children dialogical interactions leave space for a full development of argumentation? A case study
    This paper sets out to analyse a case study of adult-children interaction in an educational context from a perspective of argumentation. We select a case in which 3 argumentative discussions are opened and we analyse them with the aim of understanding whether they are fully developed from a point of view of argumentation; or whether they are cut short and why. Our focus is not on the children’s individual productions but on the process of interaction. We assume the pragma-dialectical model of argumentation and the AMT as a theoretical framework. Our findings show that none of the discussions opened gets to a concluding stage, either because the teacher shifts the discussion on a different issue, or because the opening stage is not clear, or because the argumentation stage is not adequately developed. These findings contribute to conceptual clarification about how to interpret the role of a teacher.
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    Etudier à l'Université malgré tout
    L’hypothèse d’une distance culturelle entre famille et école est souvent mobilisée pour expliquer l’échec scolaire de jeunes issus de classes sociales basses, ou encore de la migration. Pourtant, lorsque l’on examine de plus près, d’une part, les mécanismes de sélection scolaire, et d’autre part les trajectoires individuelles, il apparaît parfois que les choses sont plus complexes. En nous basant sur une étude portant sur des jeunes femmes issues de la migration kosovare en Suisse et étudiantes à l’Université, nous montrons que, au contraire, ces jeunes femmes s’appuient précisément sur les ressources symboliques qu’elles trouvent dans leur famille pour soutenir leur projet de formation.