‘Whether we’re the same or different, we’re all as one.’ An investigation into children’s attitudes towards the practice of ‘Celebrating Difference’ in a small international school in Ghana
: An investigation into children’s thoughts on difference in the context of the ‘celebration of difference’ in an international school

  • Barbara Deveney

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This qualitative study develops an idea considered in an unpublished assignment submitted for the EdD unit ‘Educational Policy: Theory & Practice’ at the University of Bath which presented a theoretical argument for the cessation of ‘celebrating difference’ in international schools. This research enquiry extends the original idea by inviting Primary school-aged children in a small international school in Ghana to share their views on ‘celebrating difference’ in order to consider the practice from a child’s point of view. As an alternative to the celebration of difference, the idea of celebrating ‘sameness’ (common humanity) is also introduced. Through a series of semi-structured interviews and sentence completion exercises, the participants’ opinions on various aspects of difference and sameness are explored. As very little research has been undertaken in this area, the literature review focuses on the interrelated areas of culture, difference and identity to provide a context for the enquiry. A significant finding highlights, across all ages, the participants’ keen awareness of their differences and their strong belief in the importance and desirability of being different. The participants appear to accept difference as the absolute norm in their lives as they engage with it on a daily basis, but these differences are irrelevant to their friendships. With regards to sameness, while the participants acknowledge people’s sameness as the connections between people and a shared need for food, education, shelter, etc., they do not appear to view sameness as something they want to celebrate, not least because of its ‘invisibility’.
Date of Award20 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRita Chawla-Duggan (Supervisor) & David Skidmore (Supervisor)

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