Researching mixed race in education: perceptions, policies and practices

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2011-01-26 03:55Z by Steven

Researching mixed race in education: perceptions, policies and practices

Race Ethnicity and Education
Volume 10, Issue 3 (September 2007)
pages 345-362
DOI: 10.1080/13613320701503389

Chamion Caballero, Senior Research Fellow
Families & Social Capital Research Group
London South Bank University

Jo Haynes, Lecturer in Sociology
University of Bristol

Leon Tikly, Professor in Education and Deputy Director of Research
University of Bristol

 Although the ‘Mixed’ primary and secondary school population is rapidly growing in both size and recognition, pupils from mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds are largely invisible in current educational policies and practices regarding minority ethnic pupils. In light of initial Local Education Authority-level data which suggested that pupils from Mixed White/Black Caribbean backgrounds were significantly underachieving and over-represented in school exclusions, the authors of this article conducted a research project which, through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, explored the educational attainment, experiences and needs of this group of pupils. Drawing on the qualitative data from the project, this article will discuss three key areas of findings. Firstly, by presenting data from the case study interviews with pupils, parents, teachers and specialist educational (local Ethnic Minority Achievement Service) advisors, the authors will discuss how the perceptions of the White/Black Caribbean pupils they encountered in the schools encompassed both traditional constructions of ‘mixedness’—which conceptualise mixed identities as inherently problematic—and emerging ‘new wave’ constructions—which conceptualise mixed identities not only as unproblematic, but as positive and celebratory. Secondly, the authors discuss the extent to which these perceptions and their potential impact on pupils’ achievement are supported or challenged by existing educational policies and practices. They conclude by highlighting some of the methodological and theoretical challenges encountered in researching mixedness in the educational context and discuss the implications of these for both their research project and the field of ‘mixed race studies’ as a whole.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Understanding the Educational Needs of Mixed Heritage Pupils

Posted in Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2009-10-24 01:21Z by Steven

Understanding the Educational Needs of Mixed Heritage Pupils

University of Bristol
June 2004
ISBN: 1844782646
121 pages

Leon Tikly, Professor in Education and Deputy Director of Research
University of Bristol

Chamion Caballero, Senior Research Fellow
Families & Social Capital Research Group
London South Bank University

Jo Haynes, Lecturer in Sociology
University of Bristol

John Hill
Birmingham LEA

in association with
Birmingham Local Education Authority


In March 2003, a team from the University of Bristol working in association with Birmingham Local Education Authority (LEA) was commissioned by the DfES (Department for Education and Skills) to conduct research into the educational needs of mixed heritage pupils with specific reference to the barriers to achievement faced by White/Black Caribbean pupils. Qualitative research was carried out in fourteen schools in six LEAs (primary schools with more than 10% of mixed heritage pupils and secondary schools with more than 5% of mixed heritage pupils). Quantitative data from the DfES National Pupil Database are also reported.

Key findings

  • The attainment of White/Black Caribbean pupils is below average, the attainment of White/Black African pupils is similar to average in primary schools and slightly below average in secondary schools and the attainment of White/Asian pupils is above average.
  • The key barriers to achievement facing pupils of White/Black Caribbean origin are in many cases similar to those faced by pupils of Black Caribbean origin. They are more likely to come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds; are more likely to experience forms of institutionalised racism in the form of low teacher expectations; and, are more likely to be excluded from school.
  • White/Black Caribbean pupils also face specific barriers to achievement. Low expectations of pupils by teachers often seem based on a stereotypical view of the fragmented home backgrounds and ‘confused’ identities of White/Black Caribbean pupils. These pupils often experience racism from teachers and from their White and Black peers targeted at their mixed heritage. This can lead to the adoption of what are perceived to be rebellious and challenging forms of behaviour.
  • The barriers to achievement experienced by White/Black Caribbean pupils operate in a context where mixed heritage identities (including those of White/Black Caribbean, White/Black African and White/Asian pupils) are not recognised in the curriculum or in policies of schools and of LEAs. In the case of White/Black Caribbean pupils, their invisibility from policy makes it difficult for their underachievement to be challenged.
  • In those schools where White/Black Caribbean pupils achieve relatively highly they often benefit from inclusion in policies targeted at Black Caribbean learners, with whom they share similar barriers to achievement and with whom they often identify.
  • Even in these schools, however, the specific barriers to achievement faced by White/Black Caribbean learners are rarely explicitly addressed.

In our 2004 report from the DfES, our analysis indicated that 2.5% of the national school age population were identified as belonging to the overall ‘Mixed’ ethnic group, with large regional variations. The largest proportion of these pupils could be found in the Inner London area – they constituted 7.3% of school pupils. The smallest was in the North East – 0.7%.

Read the entire report here.

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Mixed Heritage – Identity, Policy and Practice

Posted in Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2009-10-16 02:11Z by Steven

Mixed Heritage – Identity, Policy and Practice

Runnymede Trust
ISBN-10: 0-9548389-6-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-9548389-6-6
EAN: 9780954838966
40 pages
September 2007

Edited by Jessica Mai Sims

Although they are often invisible in debates on race and ethnicity, the 2001 census reveals that the ‘Mixed’ population is the third largest ethnic category in the UK, with predictions that it will become the single largest minority group recognised by the Census by the end of 2020.

Over the summer months we have developed our thinking on this area of study through a seminars, roundtables, and conferences by partnering with the CRE, CLG, and London South Bank’s Families and Social Capital Research Group. Through this partnership we have established the following series of activity that forms that basis for future work on mixed heritage, which seeks to challenge the prevalent understandings and assumptions of the people who are thought to comprise of this group.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword – Rob Berkeley
  1. Statistics: The Mixed Category in Census 2001 — Charlie Owen
  2. The Diversity of ‘the’ Mixed Race Population in Britain — Miri Song
  3. Gendering Mixed-Race, Deconstructing Mixedness — Suki Ali
  4. Thai-British Families: Towards a Deeper Understanding of ‘Mixedness’ — Jessica Mai Sims
  5. Meeting the Educational Needs of Mixed Heritage Pupils: Challenges for Policy and Practice — Leon Tikly
  6. Mixed Heritage: Perspectives on Health and Welfare — Mark R. D. Johnson
  7. Adoption and Fostering Issues: ‘Judgement of Solomon’ — Savita de Sousa & John Simmonds
  8. ‘Mixed’ Families: Assumptions and New Approaches — Chamion Caballero
  9. It’s Time for Foundation — Sharron Hall
  10. I loathe the term ‘mixed race’… — Linda Bellos
  11. People in Harmony — Jill Olumide
  • Biographical Information on Contributors
  • Bibliography

Read the entire document here.

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Mixed Heritage Children and Young People: Issues and Ways Forward

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2009-08-20 00:45Z by Steven

Mixed Heritage Children and Young People: Issues and Ways Forward was a conference held in London, England on 2009-04-29 and hosted by the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service Cambridge Education @ Islington.

Featured speakers:

Leon Tikly, Professor
University of  Bristol

Bradley Lincoln
Multiple Heritage Project, Manchester

Featured Presentations:

Making Mixed Race Children Visible in the Education System

Jane Daffé, Senior EMA Consultant
Nottingham City, LA

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing: A study of ‘Mixed Experiences’
…‘In junior school I remember feeling very popular. I had a large group of friends and we had all been brought up in the same area although our parents may have been from elsewhere. I went to the same high school as a lot of the girls in this group but they all spilt up and joined different groups that already existed within the school e.g. the Jewish girls joined a group of Jewish girls, the black girls joined a group of black girls etc. I wasn’t a ‘member’ of any of these groups and I didn’t want to be’
Dinah Morley

‘I had an attitude like I don’t know what to do I’ll just get on with things…I kind of changed my attitude like I was just saying well I can only be me …and it made things easier in a way’…

Improving the Educational Environment for Mixed Race Children
Professor Leon Tikly
University of Brsitol

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