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Anti-Romaism, Bulgarian educational reforms, pathologization of Roma children, Roma inclusion

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This article examines how early childhood educators, as policy implementers, perceive reforms in Bulgaria’s education system that occurred between 2008 and 2018. Both Roma and non-Roma educators participated in this project that compares perceptions of Bulgarian teachers in public schools and Roma educators in informal educational settings operated by NGOs and religious institutions. Applying intersectionality as a framework, the study draws from anti-Romaism as a particular form of racism that militates against the inclusion of Roma to examine whether and to what extent discourses of minoritized and racialised children are evident in the views held by the Bulgarian educators, resulting, in spite of educational reforms, in practices of pathologizing Roma children. All but one of the participating non-Roma teachers expressed anti-Roma views related to support for school segregation and perceptions of Roma children’s inherent academic inability and language deficiency. These views contrast with those of Roma educators, who pointed to major structural problems, such as poverty and segregation, that remain intact despite the reforms and thus have failed to reduce educational disadvantage.

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Education Inquiry, v. 11, issue 2, p. 126-143

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