Urban Schooling in Suburban Contexts: Exploring the Immigrant Factor in Urban Education

  • Carl E. James
  • Roger Saul
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 19)

In this chapter, with reference to Toronto, we explore the educational issues faced by students who live and attend schools in “inner-” and “outer-” suburban areas. We argue that schooling in today’s suburban areas must address the marginalization, racialization and exclusion which are often experienced by children of recent immigrants living in these areas – the new “suburbanites.” Education for these students must include measures to interrupt the historical tendency of schools to perpetuate structures of social, political and economic inequality and inequity. We suggest that giving attention to the immigrant backgrounds of students and the social and cultural capital they bring to their schooling can help to open up educational opportunities and possibilities, as well as facilitate and enable school participation that can result in improved academic performance and outcomes for students living in what Wooden and Blazak (2001) refer to as “suburban hoods.” In what follows, we discuss today’s suburban contexts and the “new” suburbanites, referring mainly to Canadian cities and Toronto in particular. We then go on to discuss (1) the lives and experiences of immigrants and their children in relation to the social and cultural capital they employ in living their lives, (2) how racialization affects the schooling and educational opportunities and possibilities of the children of immigrants, and (3) the similarities and differences of life in both “inner-” and “outer-suburban” areas. We conclude by suggesting that educators need to get to know about the experiences of students, the social and cultural contexts in which they live, and develop educational programs that address their needs, interests and aspiration.


Cultural Capital Black Student Urban School Immigrant Student Immigrant Parent 
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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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl E. James
    • 1
  • Roger Saul
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education, York UniversityCanada

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