Schooling for Two Futures : Italian Associations on the Education of Italian Children in Switzerland (1960-1980)

Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau
Eigenmann, Philipp

In the post-war era, millions of Southern European workers migrated north for employment. Thiseconomically driven labour-migration had strong socio-political consequences - especially in the fieldof education. The compulsory education for the children of the migrated workers proved to be achallenge for the authorities of the sending and receiving countries as well as for the immigrantsthemselves. This paper focuses on the educational policies of Italian associations in Switzerland inthe 1960s and 1970s, which corresponded to the immigrants’ uncertain situation between temporarysojourn and permanent residence in Switzerland. In the view of the Italian organizations, the edu­cation of their children had to be aligned for a possible school career either in Switzerland or in Italy.They agreed that educational disadvantages in Switzerland had to be avoided as much as possible, asthe chance of reintegration into schools back in Italy had to be guaranteed. Thus, they were in searchof the best schooling for two possible futures. However, in the long run it was not only their strugglefor an adequate education for migrants’ children, but also a new law in Italy that succeeded in trans­forming elements of compulsory schooling in Switzerland towards a more transnational education.


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