Diasporic education in the mainstream school: creative pedagogies of belonging across time and space

Reza Gholami*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    This article builds upon a theoretical framework for “diasporic education” to explore the impact of such an educational approach in a state-funded primary school in England. Diasporic education refers to curricular, pedagogic and political processes that utilise as educational resource the transnational connections of racially and religiously minoritised, or “migrant”, communities. The paper draws on collaborative research with an educational theatre company and a diverse class of year-six (10–11-year-old) children in Birmingham, UK, to show that the inclusion of diasporic education in mainstream schooling can have immediate and deep-running educational benefits. In this way, the paper unifies two strands of research on the education of minoritised communities, one focusing on their “supplementary” educational activities and the other on their chronically disadvantaged position in mainstream schooling. Exploring two themes, (1) the “diasporisation” of educational spaces, and (2) the complexities of home and belonging, I argue that diasporic education helps to redress some of the educational inequities wrought by myopic nationalist policies and discourses that chronically affect minoritised youth. This happens through a reimagining of the learning and teaching of, among other subjects, values and history. Diasporic education also opens avenues for creative teaching practices that are tangibly linked with the local yet transnationally connected urban contexts in which many minoritised pupils live their daily lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEducational Review
    Early online date27 Mar 2023
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2023


    • Diaspora
    • Diasporic education
    • belonging
    • mainstream schooling
    • homing desire


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