Diversity case studies in higher education

Share Equity and diversity have been topics of enduring interest to scholars contributing to Studies in Higher Education over the past 50 years. In this Virtual Special Issue we have approached diversity in relation to different structures of inequality including socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, disability, age and sexual orientation.

Diversity case studies in higher education

May Volume 70 Number 8 Faces of Poverty Pages Boosting Achievement by Pursuing Diversity Halley Potter What can we learn from schools that are improving student achievement by breaking up concentrated student poverty?

One morning last December, a crowd gathered at the Thomas B.

Diversity case studies in higher education

Fordham Institute in Washington, D. Panelists debated whether the best way to fix persistently underperforming schools was simply to replace the administrators and teachers at the school, or whether reopening under new charter management was the only effective option.

But what if, instead of changing the principal, teachers, or management in the hope that this will turn around a high-poverty school, we changed the mix of students, rebalancing enrollment so that the school did not serve a concentration of the most disadvantaged students?

When asked this question, panelist Carmel Martin, assistant secretary for the U. Department of Education, said, "I think it's a really important question. Socioeconomic integration is an effective way to tap into the academic benefits of having high-achieving peers, an engaged community of parents, and high-quality teachers.

In the last decade, the number of public school districts that consider socioeconomic status in student assignment has grown from just a handful to more than 80 Kahlenberg, Early adopters included La Crosse, Wisconsin, which Diversity case studies in higher education a districtwide plan to balance school enrollment by socioeconomic status inand Cambridge, Massachusetts, which made socioeconomic status the main factor in its controlled choice program in Newer additions include Bloomington, Minnesota, and Salina, Kansas, both of which used socioeconomic balance as a factor in redrawing school boundaries in recent years.

Adding to this list, a number of charter schools now actively seek socioeconomically diverse student enrollment as part of their design. They include schools like High Tech High, which began in as a single charter school and is now a network of 11 schools in San Diego, and Citizens of the World Charter Schools, which opened its first school in and is striving to create a national network of diverse charter schools.

Going against the grain in a country where many public schools are de facto segregated by income, these socioeconomically integrated charter schools have developed innovative methods for enrolling and serving a diverse student body. The Case for Socioeconomic Integration On average, students' socioeconomic backgrounds have a huge effect on their academic outcomes.

But so do the backgrounds of the peers who surround them. Poor students in mixed-income schools do better than poor students in high-poverty schools. Research supporting socioeconomic integration goes back to the famous Coleman Report, which found that the strongest school-related predictor of student achievement was the socioeconomic composition of the student body Coleman et al.

More recent data confirm the relationship between individual achievement and student-body characteristics. And results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress in mathematics show steady increases in low-income 4th graders' average scores as the percentage of poor students in their school decreases U.

Department of Education, Of course, multiple non-school-related factors could explain why low-income students in mixed-income schools outperform their counterparts in high-poverty schools.

Students attending mixed-income schools might be more likely to have involved parents or live in a more affluent community, for example. However, a number of studies have found that the relationship between student outcomes and the socioeconomic composition of schools is strong even after controlling for some of these factors, using more nuanced measures of socioeconomic status, or comparing outcomes for students randomly assigned to schools Reid, ; Schwartz, Socioeconomic integration improves student outcomes because mixed-income schools are more likely to have certain resources or characteristics that foster achievement.

Rumberger and Palardy found that the socioeconomic composition of the school was as strong a predictor of student outcomes as students' own socioeconomic status. However, the researchers found that the advantages of attending a mixed-income school could be fully explained by school characteristics such as teachers' expectations, students' homework habits, and school safety.

They concluded that high-poverty schools could work "if it were possible to alter those policies and practices that are associated with schools' socioeconomic composition" p.

That if is a serious caveat. High-performing, high-poverty schools are very rare. The economist Douglas Harris calculated that only 1. Further, to the extent that the biggest advantage of socioeconomic integration may be direct peer effects Reid, —picking up knowledge and habits from high-achieving, highly motivated peers—high-poverty schools will always be at a disadvantage, given the strong relationship between students' own socioeconomic statuses and their academic performance.

Socioeconomic integration is a win-win situation: Low-income students' performance rises; all students receive the cognitive benefits of a diverse learning environment Antonio et al. Research about this last point is still developing. A recent meta-analysis found "growing but still inconclusive evidence" that the achievement of more advantaged students was not harmed by desegregation policies Harris,p.

It appears that there is a tipping point, a threshold for the proportion of low-income students in a school below which middle-class achievement does not suffer.


Estimates of this tipping point vary; many researchers cite 50 percent low-income as the maximum Kahlenberg, The findings suggested that, more than a precise threshold, what mattered in these schools was maintaining a critical mass of middle-class families, which promoted a culture of high expectations, safety, and community support.

Lessons from Socioeconomically Diverse Charter Schools Despite the evidence of their advantages, socioeconomically integrated schools are not the norm in the United States. In traditional public schools, 65 percent of low-income students are concentrated in majority-low-income schools.

Many choices have led to our economically segregated school system.The primary objective of this book is to help higher education and student affairs graduate students as well as current higher education and student affairs professionals practice and refine thinking skills needed to resolve diversity-related issues and problems on college and university campuses.

Case studies are stories. They present realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and often involve a dilemma, conflict, or problem that one or more of the characters in the case must negotiate.

A good case study, according to Professor Paul Lawrence is: “the vehicle by which a chunk of. Higher Education > PowerPoint Presentation (for Case Studies) for Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity.

PreK–12 Education; Higher Education; PowerPoint Presentation (for Case Studies) for Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity, 3rd Edition. Many higher education faculty mem-bers and administrators are deeply concerned that abandonment of race-sensitive admissions and hiring, at a time when most minority groups con-tinue to be underrepresented in higher education, will severely limit campus diversity and will undermine the learning environment for all students.

The main aim of this case study is to explore the concept of equality and diversity in contemporary society, this research will concentrate on the impact of poverty upon the educational, emotional and social experiences of a child, in this case a young boy attending a mainstream school; he will be.

There is a lot of debate, and not nearly as much evidence, about using social media such as Twitter, blogs, etc., in the classroom. We need to know whether we can we use social media in the classroom in ways that actually benefit students.

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