Cultural diversity approaches in schools and their implications for student achievement and adjustment


As schools in Europe become increasingly culturally diverse, interest in cultural diversity approaches in schools (e.g., equality, pluralism or assimilation) grows. The effects of school diversity approaches (manifested in students’ perceptions of diversity, how teachers deal with diversity and school policies) on immigrant minority and host majority students’ school achievement and adjustment have rarely been investigated. Existing evidence is mixed, suggesting that other factors may be at play. However, little is known about the interplay of school diversity approaches with other factors to predict student outcomes. Taking an ecological approach of teaching and learning in diverse environments, the proposed project examines for whom and in which contexts the three major school diversity approaches support students’ school achievement and adjustment. We focus on Germany and Belgium as comparative contexts—with a special emphasis on Muslim students as most disadvantaged groups in both countries. Complementing large-scale longitudinal, multi-level data with a field intervention, we investigate four issues: (1) how teachers deal with diversity and how this affects students’ school achievement and adjustment, (2) in what ways the diversity approaches affect how ethnic composition relates to student outcomes, (3) how the fit between students’ acculturation attitudes and diversity approaches affects student outcomes, and (4) how students’ age affects the relationship of diversity approaches with student outcomes. We examine whether the findings replicate in both countries. The findings will advance our understanding on how school diversity approaches affect minority and majority students’ adjustment and achievement and ultimately help tailoring effective interventions in ethnically-diverse classrooms.


Principal Investigators
Edele, Aileen (Details) (Department of Education Studies)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Duration of Project
Start date: 10/2020
End date: 01/2022

Research Areas
Bildungssoziologie, Integration, Migration, Integrationspolitik, Migration, Migration und Integration, Schule

Last updated on 2021-07-10 at 15:34