41 / 2015
Milanka Munda, Mojca Peček

Class Mates' and Teachers' Attitudes toward Roma Pupils in Elementary Schools in Maribor

Roma in Maribor are an atypical community, working class and urban, but also one that is often subject to discrimination. By conducting interviews with 77 Roma elementary school pupils, the article tries to ascertain through questions about the peers’ and teachers’ attitude to Roma pupils whether and in what ways this is reflected in elementary school. The results show that majority of Roma pupils feel accepted by their peers and treated fairly by their teachers, while a few Roma pupils provide examples of open discrimination. Such results can be interpreted in the context of high quality work with Roma children by most education professionals, but also in the wider social context since inclusion of Roma children in the education system requires commitment of the society as a whole to improve not only their education but also employment opportunities and housing. The current situation in the society is not conducive to such changes; it is therefore left to teachers and schools to carry most weight.
KEY WORDS: Roma pupils, class mates’ attitudes, teachers’ attitudes, discrimination, elementary school

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