EPN BREAKFAST TALKS 25: Prof. Dr. Orhan Agirdag, Against all odds: Characteristics of successful Turkish students

25 January 2015 10:00

Fedactio @ Paleizenstraat 27, 1030 Schaarbeek, België



 Prof. Dr. Orhan Agirdag

Against all odds: Characteristics of successful Turkish students 

The fact that Turkish students perform poorly in Flemish education is widely known. Fortunately there are also exceptions to this rule. However, much less is known about the group of successful Turkish pupils. In this presentation, Orhan Agirdag will outline a profile of successful Turkish students and he will provide a number of policy proposals to improve educational performance of Turkish students. European Professionals Network and Golden Rose kindly invite you to this useful talk following an open buffet breakfast.


10:00-10:30 Registration
10:30-11:30 Open Buffet Breakfast
11:40-12:30 Talk with Orhan Agirdag
12:30-13:00 Q&A Session


Orhan Agirdag

Orhan Agirdag (PhD) is an assistant Professor of Education at the University of Amsterdam. Formerly, he worked at Ghent University and was a Fulbright Fellow at the UCLA. His main research interests include stratification in education, educational policy, teacher education, multilingualism, and religiosity in education. His doctoral thesis on school segregation is multiple awarded and his work is published in more than twenty American and European journals, in English, Dutch, Turkish and French. Orhan is a recipient of a Veni-grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) He will work at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at KU Leuven starting from next academic year. For his extensive cv please click here


Report of the event

Turkish students constitute a relatively large and underachieving minority group in Europe. However, there are exceptions to this pattern and focusing on the common profiles of these successful Turkish students, Prof. Dr. Orhan Ağırdağ, discussed the success factors and measures that should be taken against the underachievement of Turkish students in the 25th Breakfast Talk.
Dutch politicians indicate minority language as the primary reason for underachievement in school and give less attention to other factors. And yet, recent researches have revealed that there are, in fact, a great deal of educational benefits of bilingualism, Dr. Ağırdağ underlined. The negative school culture about the Turkish language leads to discouragement and reduces the sense of school belonging for Turkish pupils.
Success is directly linked with multilingualism, having a sense of school belonging, multicultural and interesting curriculums. In order to narrow the performance gap between native and immigrant students, schools should benefit from adopting more multicultural policies and allow for multiple identities, the academician concluded.

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