Rhamie, Jasmine, Bhopal, Kalwant and Bhatti, Ghazala
Stick to your own kind: pupil experiences of identity and diversity in secondary schools
British Journal of Educational Studies, 60, (2), .
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A national emphasis in Britain on community cohesion and citizenship has highlighted the need to explore understandings of difference within and between communities particularly within school contexts. This preliminary study reports on the first phase of a larger project exploring pupil’s understandings and experiences of identity and diversity within secondary schools. It examined how pupils respond to and engage with diverse pupil populations and considered young people’s understandings of Britishness and citizenship. Questionnaires were collected from 51 year 8 pupils in two urban and ethnically diverse secondary schools in England. Most pupils highlighted a range of benefits derived from attending schools with diverse pupil populations. They portrayed multiple understandings of what it means to be British and conceptualised their identity in different ways. The findings suggest that pupils have a complex range of views about identity, diversity and Britishness. Marked gender differences were found. Further research will enable a clearer understanding of these issues.
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