The Ethnic Prejudice of Flemish Pupils: The Role of Pupils’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Multicultural Teacher Culture


by Roselien Vervaet , Mieke Van Houtte & Peter A. J. Stevens — 2018

Background/Context: As a result of migration processes, schools in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium) are notably ethnically diverse. This evolution has coincided with an increasing number of studies focusing on ethnic-minority pupils’ experiences of ethnic prejudice from their ethnic majority counterparts.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Taking into consideration the lack of research on the importance of cultural school features to students’ ethnic prejudice, this study investigates the association between a multicultural teacher culture and the ethnic prejudice of Flemish secondary school pupils. In addition, the analysis tests the mediating role of pupils’ perceptions of the multicultural educational practices of teachers and controls for individual and school characteristics that have been shown to be related to ethnic prejudice.

Population/Participants/Subject/Research Design: Multilevel analyses were carried out on data from 2,083 Flemish pupils and 636 teachers in 40 secondary schools, collected by means of a written questionnaire.

Findings/Results: The main finding of this study is that a more multicultural teacher culture is associated with reduced ethnic prejudice among Flemish pupils. However, the association between a multicultural teacher culture and pupils’ ethnic prejudice is mediated by pupils’ perceptions of multicultural teaching.

Conclusions/Recommendations: These findings highlight the importance of including macro factors, individual variables, and their interdependence when explaining ethnic prejudice. The findings also show that what matters most for reducing prejudice among pupils is not what teachers claim they do in terms of multicultural teaching, but pupils’ perceptions of what their teachers do in practice.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 5, 2018, p. -
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22083, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 11:11:27 PM

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