Ogbu and the debate on educational achievement: an exploration of the links between education, migration,
identity and belonging
Intercultural Education, 17, (2), . (doi:10.1080/14675980600693772).
This paper looks at some of the issues raised by Ogbu’s work in relation to the education of different minority ethnic groups. Ogbu poses questions such as the value attached to education,
its links to the future and its measurable outcomes in terms of ‘success’ as experienced by black participants. The desire for better life chances leads families to consider migration to a new country or resettlement within the same country, thus making migration both a local and a global phenomenon. As an example, attention is drawn to the situation facing South Asian
children and their families in the UK. In terms of ethnicity and belonging, the wider question that is significant for many countries in the West after ‘Nine-Eleven’ is the education of Muslim children. A consideration of this current situation throws Ogbu’s identification of ‘autonomous minority’ into question. It is argued that a greater understanding of diverse needs has to be
accompanied by a concerted effort to confront racism and intolerance in schools and in society, thus enabling all communities to make a useful contribution and to avoid the ‘risk’ of failure and disenchantment.
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