Postgraduate Dissertation

Black underachievement: will more black history in schools make a difference?


Along with other ethnic minorities, Black Caribbean students continue to be amongst the poorest achieving groups in English schools. Additionally, black history remains significantly underrepresented in the English National Curriculum. This dissertation project researched whether introducing more black history into the English National Curriculum could be a strategy for increasing academic satisfaction and reducing underachievement of Black Caribbean students. The documentary review examined the central theme of knowledge and power and the aims and values of the current National Curriculum for England. It also explored Critical Race Theory (CRT), specifically applying the concepts of interest-convergence and interestdivergence to the National Curriculum and the role of ‘acting white’ in black underachievement. Finally, the documentary review also examined the impact of social media and TV and explored how they were utilised in the portrayal of the black community. A cross-sectional design approach was used to gather views from a subsection of the Black community. The findings from the semi-structured, conversational interviews were applied to theory and used to inform the recommendations made in the conclusion.

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Medley, Rachel


Rights Holders: Medley, Rachel
Supervisors: Percival, James

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree programme

MA Education



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