School performance, social inequalities and ethnicity:The children of Cape Verdean and Indian immigrants in basic schooling in Portugal
Sociology ISCTE Lisbon, Portugal
Considering the expansion of immigration in our country and the resulting progressive introduction of a considerable contingent of the school population of different national origin, the aim of this research is, on one hand, to ascertain the school performance of these children and young people by considering a diverse range of structural and procedural variables and, on the other hand, to understand how social contexts (family and school) increase or reduce the possibilities of achieving the ideal of equal opportunities propitiated by school in modern societies.
We compare the school results of pupils of different national origins ? Portugal, Cape Verde and India, and different socio-cultural circumstances in basic education in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area and look into how far family dynamics and school processes are related to unequal performance. We distributed a questionnaire to 837 pupils at eight different schools, collected statistics at each school and interviewed the parents of children of Cape Verdean and Indian origin.
Our analysis of the information gathered showed a superior school performance from the pupils of Indian origin both in relation to Portuguese pupils and those of Cape Verdean origin, even when allowing for the effect of other structural variables. We also detected differences between groups of pupils with regard to their family lives (relationship with country of origin and schooling) and their school experience (behaviour and relationship with people and learning).