The role of community-based educational spaces in tackling the ethnic gap in education: a mixed-method evaluation and impact study
Throughout the world many education systems struggle with continuous and large performance difficulties between native students and students with a migration background. Despite huge investments by policy makers and the implementation of a vast array of specific structure as well as more actor-centred measures, there seems to be little change. Often these 'underperforming' students have been passive bystanders in the discussion of potential solutions for the 'ethnic gap'. Yet, this ignores the many initiatives taken by ethnic minority communities to tackle educational inequalities. These are community-based educational spaces (CBES) such as home-work support groups, language classes and community-led supplementary and full-time schools. The few studies on these CBES generally focus on their political role and apply a predominantly ethnographic approach and thus the current state of the art mainly informs us about the political strategies of community representatives. Our project advances the state of the art and aims to fill existing knowledge gaps on the effectiveness and impact of CBES on student outcomes and on learning processes. More in particular we perform an evaluation and impact study acknowledging the voices and agency of CBES-stakeholders involved. To this end we apply a mixed-method approach combining quantitative analysis with qualitative field research. The insights will benefit stakeholders in CBES as well as in mainstream public education.