Producing new diasporic identities through alternative educational: Black and mixed-race families experiences of schooling, Saturday Schools and home education
This paper draws on research (Bhopal and Myers 2018) with Black and mixed-race families living in urban areas who adopted a range of alternative education strategies for their children. These included decisions to home educate and to use Saturday schools. Although different reasons for choosing such strategies were discussed, many families related their decision to experiences of racism within mainstream schools. In addition to countering such racism the research also found alternative education routes were an effective means of bolstering their own fluid family histories. Many families did not fit easily into readily recognisable demographic categories. Instead they often recounted complex narratives e.g. diasporic journeys traversing three continents; parents and step-parents with multiple and diverse histories; families who had encountered tragedies and loss; and, families reconciling the accounts of their grand-parents’ diaspora with the different realities of their own lives. One apparent success story of alternative educational provision was its seeming potential to reinforce very diverse family identities and provide a space in which such diversity became more readily understandable. In this way, the local work of families and the communities in which they live, appeared an effective means of challenging some of the inequalities they faced in their daily lives. The paper will explore alternative education as a means by which cosmopolitan identities (Beck 2018) find security within a fluid, changing world.
Beck, U. (2006). Cosmopolitan vision. Polity.
Bhopal, K. & Myers, M. (2018) Home Schooling and Home Education: Race class and inequality. Abingdon: Routledge.