Ethnicity is one of the cultural issues that influence performance in schools. Maestri (2017) researched to evaluate whether ethnic diversity positively affects student achievement. In their article “Can ethnic diversity positively affect school achievement?”, Maestri (2017) hypothesized that ethnic diversity reduces teaching efficiency, stimulates students’ interests, and may reduce social interaction, ethnic identification, and performance. Data was collected from 650 schools regarding test scores in mathematics, language, and reading (Maestri, 2017). Additional information evaluated includes social integration, self-confidence, school well-being, and how much instructors feel at ease with the students. Maestri (2017) used a sample comprising 61% native, 11% Turkish, 10% Moroccan, 5% Surinamese, and 13% other several ethnic minority groups. The findings indicate ethnic diversity positively impacts minority students’ test scores. However, ethnic diversity hurts social integration among students and teachers.
The findings from this article are important since they show that ethnicity, which is considered one of the cultural issues that negatively impact academic performance, can positively influence the latter. Maestri (2017) holds that ethnic diversity in educational institutions plays a significant role in acquiring language skills among students from minority groups. This perspective is true because it is easier to acquire language skills when interacting with native speakers than learning through theory. Although cultural differences based on ethnic background can hurt social integration in schools, improved performance in tests offsets this negative impact (Maestri, 2017). Educational institutions can use findings from this study to encourage design policies that ensure all students embrace ethnic diversity. Additionally, it can allow instructors to learn approaches to instruct students using different languages. As a result, learners will understand what is taught and tested, improving their academic achievement.
Maestri, V. (2017). Can ethnic diversity have a positive effect on school achievement? Education Economics, 25(3), 290-303.