Like a fish in water? Experiences of Muslim families in the British education system


White, R. and Pafford, Fran 2016. Like a fish in water? Experiences of Muslim families in the British education system. Research in Teacher Education. 6 (1), pp. 36-40.
AuthorsWhite, R. and Pafford, Fran

This article summarises the explorations of two Initial Teacher Education (ITE) lecturers looking particularly at Muslim families’ sense of belonging as they encounter the British education system. The study draws on Garcia’s (2009, Alstad, 2013) view of monoglossic and heteroglossic settings, and on Cremin’s (2015) proposition of the super-diversity of inner-city experiences. Case studies of individual families are used to create a picture that reflects the complexity and shifting nature of cultures, languages and identities in present-day Britain. Video and tape interviews are used and data coded and analysed to identify prevailing themes. The families and schools taking part are active participants in the research process, giving informed and ongoing consent, and having control of the resulting findings. Parents’ and children’s perceptions and experience have evolved in complex ways across the generations, and in ways that challenge the stereotypes that dominate media portrayals. Early findings suggest that existing paradigms for discussing identity fail to capture the increasingly complex and super-diverse realities. In a world where xenophobia currently fuels rigid and stereotypical views of cultures in general and Muslim cultures in particular, it is important that the complexity of families’ identities and relationships to the existing systems is seen, heard and appreciated.

JournalResearch in Teacher Education
Research in Teacher Education
Journal citation6 (1), pp. 36-40
PublisherUniversity of East London, Cass School of Education and Communities
Publisher's version
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.5095
Web address (URL)
Publication dates
PrintMay 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jul 2016
Copyright information© 2016 The authors
Permalink -

  • 17
    total views
  • 16
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month