Diversity, Difference, and Communities in English Secondary Schools

By Maria Tsouroufli, Ian Davies, Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Vanita Sundaram, Pippa Lord and Jennifer Jeffes.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

This paper discusses secondary school pupils’ understandings and experiences of diversity and communities in England. It draws on qualitative data from a field study conducted in 8 schools as part of a larger project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The larger project, which included a review of literature, analysis of Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LYPSE) data and a national survey of school staff, aimed to explore current thinking and practice about citizenship and community cohesion. For this article field notes, and 16 audio-recorded focus group discussions with year 10 and year 11 students were analysed thematically, through multi-disciplinary team dialogue, informed by literature on diversity, community cohesion, belonging and citizenship education. Despite some variation in responses across schools, the results clearly demonstrate that student discourses of diversity grapple with notions of sameness and assimilation. We argue that citizenship education practice must be informed by robust research that addresses boundary notions and practices of identity and citizenship.

Keywords: Diversity, Difference, Communities

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 2, September 2014, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 322.740KB)).

Dr. Maria Tsouroufli

Senior Research Fellow in Education, Institute for Policy Studies in Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, London Metropolitan University, London, UK

Prof. Ian Davies

Professor of Citizenship Education, Department of Education, University of York, York, Yorkshire, UK

Dr. Gillian Hampden-Thompson

Reader, Department of Education, University of York, York, Yorkshire, UK

Dr. Vanita Sundaram

Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, University of York, York, York, UK

Pippa Lord

Senior Research Manager, National Foundation for Educational Research, York, Yorkshire, UK

Jennifer Jeffes

Research Manager, National Foundation for Educational Research, York, Yorkshire, UK