PublicationsSystematic reviewsCultural diversity and attainment
What strategies can be used by initial teacher training providers, trainees and newly qualified teachers to raise the attainment of pupils from culturally diverse backgrounds?

What do we want to know?

Cultural diversity in the classroom is changing because of the arrival of new immigrant groups, such as asylum seekers and refugees, some of whom have been affected by armed conflict.  This impacts on the knowledge base needed to help train teachers and support them in the classroom.  This review aims to identify the strategies that can be used to raise the attainment of pupils from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Who wants to know?

Initial teacher training providers, teaching trainees, newly qualified staff, mentors.

What did we find?  

A range of strategies were identified, which involved:

  • Raising pupils' confidence and motivation; having high expectations of them; and securing parental support.
  • Selecting curriculum reflective of pupils' backgrounds; monitoring lessons in relation to equal opportunities and anti-racist teaching; introducing a Foundation Programme in Year 7; using first language and dual language texts in the Numeracy and Literacy Hours; and small group work in literacy.
  • Ensuring effective school leadership; having a whole-school commitment to raising attainment; involving senior management in classroom observation and teaching; using team teaching; and involving bilingual classroom assistants.

What are the implications?

  • Working with pupils from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds should be a substantial core of teacher training, and practitioners need to be encouraged to engage with issues of racism.

  • There is need for ongoing professional development in relation to literacy and numeracy.  Considerations of pupils' confidence, motivation and application to task should be incorporated into teachers' plans and classroom management strategies.

  • Raising the attainment of minority ethnic pupils should be a high priority, which should be reflected in strategies at both national and local levels.

How did we get these results?

Five studies were synthesised.

This summary was prepared by the EPPI-Centre

This report should be cited as: Parker-Jenkins M, Hewitt D, Brownhill S, Sanders T (2004) What strategies can be used by initial teacher training providers, trainees and newly qualified teachers to raise the attainment of pupils from culturally diverse backgrounds? In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. 

  
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