Becoming other(ed): A study of minority ethnic identities in two non-urban primary schools

2015-02-04T16:46:17Z (GMT) by Sean Anthony Bracken
This thesis is primarily concerned with immigrant pupils and their identity formation in primary schools. In particular, the research advances understanding about the experiences of pupils in non-urban settings and their educational experiences. It charts how narrative pathways of identities are unpredictable and charged with affectivities, emotions and power flows. The nuanced interrelationships are revealed between: wider policy contexts, school level processes, and the identity categories around which educational inclusions, exclusions and inequalities orbit. The research paradigm drew on a Deleuzian philosophical approach and also took into consideration learning from Critical Race Theory (CRT). The former provided a conceptual framework which facilitated a discussion of bounded potentialities which were open to reinterpretation and future creativities – things do not have to be as they are. While the latter perspective helped to explain the ways in which inequalities were replicated in the researched settings. The findings indicate that, for the pupils concerned, policy formations and their interpretations within schools have profound implications for pupils’ experiences by assigning pupils to particular spaces within classrooms. In turn, these spaces begin to assume meanings that impact on the formation of personal and educational identities. To some extent, spaces are charged with racial and ethnic significance. Overall, the school arena is one which responds to a wider drive towards standardisation and, as such, it was challenging for the schools involved to incorporate individual cultural and linguistic differences, though this varied according to setting. The findings have relevance for teacher education and for how the professional and cultural identities of teachers also influence the wider possibilities for cultural and linguistic inclusion and creativity within schools.




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