The School Is Not an Island: Educational and Community Resilience in a Multiethnic Environment

Funding: OTKA
Duration: October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2019 (36 months)

In the recent education research literature, schools are most commonly deemed “successful” by statistically analyzing data collected by national and international organizations. However, these comparative assessments rarely get to the heart of what makes these schools perform so well. Through combining quantitative analysis with “thick” description—in-depth interviews with the school leadership, teachers and students as well as community partners—this three-year project aims to identify the underlying factors that contribute to school resilience, particularly in multiethnic communities.

By resilience, the research team led by Attila Papp means that schools are top-quartile achievers in the National Assessment of Basic Competences despite being in the bottom socioeconomic quartile. The team is particularly interested in the ways that schools address the social and ethnic diversity of students in resilient schools, and how local communities help (or hinder) schools in this endeavor.

Combining qualitative approaches with already-existing quantitative methods provides an opportunity to better understand school success. Through the exploration of complex organizational processes, this project seeks to contribute findings that could increase educational mobility against the backdrop of local communities.

School achievement is not limited to the school itself. Instead, there are internal and external factors that determine whether or not students can thrive. This is the core premise through which Papp bases his research.

Principal investigator (PI):

Attila Papp

Senior Research Fellow
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