Against all Odds

Against all Odds – successful schools in superdiverse educational contexts

Segregated schools in territorial stigmatized urban areas with a large majority of immigrant students with low SES and poor study results are in public- and scientific discourse generally regarded as a schooling practice which foster social exclusion. Simultaneously, there are successful schools, located in such areas with similar characteristics that are performing in par with average national school results.

In the research project “Against all odds” our main research question is:
Why are these schools successful and how can their success be explained and used as an inspiration for other schools with similar characteristics?

The multidisciplinary research team brings together competences of established researchers in the field of education and sociology that will investigate two primary schools located in a socially challenged area according to the police authorities. By using ethnographic methods, the research team will conduct an analysis that take cultural ideals and norms seriously, acknowledge a changing urban reality and the potentiality of openness through interaction and organizational solutions in order to investigate successful schools. This analysis of what happens within successful schools, make it possible to highlight the inclusive potential of education and see sociability as a way of fostering non-alienating school achievement, instead of the dominant research focus on stigmatization and reproduction.

The project is funded by Swedish Research Council 2023-2025.

The research team

Professor Carina Carlhed Ydhag (director), Department of Education, Stockholm University
Associate professor Ali Osman, Department of Education, Stockholm University
Professor Anna Lund, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University
Professor Stefan Lund, Department of Education, Stockholm University