Dutch Urban Schools and Teachers' Professionalism

  • Yvonne Leeman
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 19)

Urban life is a bundle of contradictions. The urban city offers opportunities to meet people from all over the world. It offers all kinds of cultural stimuli through art exhibitions, theatre and music. Opportunities to participate in sport are legion in the city: you are not confined to just the one local handball club. There is a lot to choose from but does everyone have such a wide range of choice? Poverty and cultural distinctions prevent equal access. The big city, part of the global economy, with its constant activity, gives access, at least for the well-educated, to the international job market. Those with lower qualifications have less interesting opportunities or simply no work. Urban culture is highly individualistic: “I have the right to choose what I want and to express what I think.” At the same time, however, there are neighborhoods with immigrants from the rural areas of Turkey and Morocco, who keep their rural traditions alive, exercise social control on each other and are not in the habit of crossing the borders of their neighborhoods. Saucer antennas on balconies mark the streets where they live.

Dutch cities are relatively small. There are no huge, virtually isolated, suburbs like the banlieus in Paris (van Zanten, 2001). The public transport system connects different parts of the city. Some people who live in Amsterdam cycle from one side of the city to the other every day to go to work. However there is a high degree of diversity among the inhabitants, growing inequality of wealth, marketization of the public sector, and a tendency toward segregation in housing patterns operating alongside a social housing policy that aims to keep communities socially and economically mixed.


Immigrant Student School Choice Inant Interaction Multicultural Society Ethnic Segregation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Leeman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Universiteit van AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Windesheim University of Applied SciencesThe Netherlands

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