A Critique of F. Demie's Achievement of Black Caribbean Pupils: Good Practice in Lambeth Schools

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Demie, F. (2005). Achievement of Black Caribbean pupils: good practice in Lambeth schools. British Educational Research Journal 31(4), 481-508.
A Critique.
This paper is a critique of F Demie’s ‘Achievement of Black Caribbean pupils: good practice in Lambeth schools’, which is an interpretive study by Feyisa Demie Jan McKenley, Chris Power, and Louise Ishani. The LEA provided the funding for this research project.
The aim of the research according to Demie was to “Identify a number of significant common themes for success in raising the achievement of Caribbean heritage pupils”. In order to analyse these achievement rates, Researchers looked at good practise in Lambeth schools.
Demie does not provide the reader with any clues in
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She suggests that this is due to a system of teaching, learning styles, standards, curriculum and assessment tools.

Demies research was designed following a ‘tight deductively oriented model’. Huberman & Miles (1998, p. 185) call a design ‘tight’, if “the researcher has good prior acquaintance with the setting, has a good bank of applicable, well-delineated concepts, and takes a more explanatory and/or confirmatory stance involving multiple, comparable cases”. In regard to the research setting, (twenty- two 'successful ' schools in the Lambeth LEA) successful schools had been identified “from LEA research and statistics data on the basis of academically above average or improving schools with a minimum of 15% Caribbean heritage pupils” (Demie, 2005) before the research team entered the field of the study.

It seems that the original research, which Demie (2005) reports of, sought to cast light upon the following complex issues: indicators, by which it was possible to assess the achievement of school-age children with Black Caribbean ancestry, and elements of the educational environment, which contributed to the achievement of high learning standards in regard to the group selected. It seems that the research questions were defined causally in order to share the elements of “good practice” between all British schools as part of the educational policy.

Demie makes much use of case studies in the research. Stake (2003, p. 86)

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