Two Generations Of Black Caribbean Women‘s Experiences Of The Education System

PhD Thesis

Franklin-Brown, G (2013). Two Generations Of Black Caribbean Women‘s Experiences Of The Education System. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Law and Social Sciences
AuthorsFranklin-Brown, G
TypePhD Thesis

This study examined the generational differences between the first generation of British born females of Caribbean descent who attended school in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s and their daughters. Through the exploration of these two generations’ experiences of school the research examined the similar trends and gained an understanding of the difficulties that they encountered and cited as barriers to their education. It explored the worries and anxieties of first generation mothers, and the measures they applied to improve the educational experiences of their daughters.

It is qualitative research of twenty-six Black Caribbean women in London and Oxford. Access to participants was gained using the snowballing method and semi-structured interviews were used to trace the discussions about the educational experiences across the two generations. Documentary sources such as government reports and other research provided the historical perspective and contextual background to the study. When these historical documents were analysed they showed there was on-going political tension around educational issues. The main contention of the early immigrants of the 1960s was educational inequality which resulted in a disproportionate number of West Indian children in educationally subnormal schools.

The study analyses some areas which were of concern to the mothers in respect to their dissatisfaction with their children’s schooling. It showed that some first generation mothers felt that they received very little support from their parents in school. Immigrant parents were unaware that they were expected to participate in the education of their children. However, unlike their parents, mothers in this study used their experiences of education and applied various measures in an attempt to support the academic performance of their children. This is in contrast to some of the stereotypes of indifference, disengagement and detachment of Black Caribbean parents.
There is constant comparative analysis between the mothers’ and daughters’ experiences. The results showed that both mothers and daughters were affected by teachers’ perception, and low academic expectation. The study also highlights their perception of discrimination, isolation, exclusion and prejudicial practices. It seems that the education system through its operations and practices have maintained a structure that undermines self-confidence and performance of some Caribbean students. It was concluded that when mothers and daughters experiences of school were compared that many similarities existed. There was increased access in the education system that resulted in the availability of opportunities to further and higher education. However many issues still exist that prevents greater equality in the British education system.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Print01 Jun 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Nov 2018
Publisher's version
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