The experience of immigrants and ethnic minorities in post-war Europe represents a significant silence in the history of education in Europe. Published research in the field on this theme is negligible in quantity, and is largely restricted to brief and narrative descriptions of policy changes that are organised around concepts of assimilation, cultural pluralism or integration. A review of the British case suggests that these kinds of accounts stymie our understanding of the importance of education for immigrants and their children. A more productive approach may be to pay greater attention to the lives of immigrant groups in post-war Europe and, in particular, to reconstruct those diverse forms of educational agency that were deployed in the construction and negotiation of new identities. It is argued that this approach will require both new empirical research and a sustained and critical engagement with the ideas and practices of postcolonial scholarship.
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