Understanding marginalized youth’s secondary education experiences: A mixed-methods study of Colombia, India, and Malawi

Principal Investigator: Amita Chudgar | Education Policy Unit | Michigan State University

Principal Investigator(s):

Nancy Kendall | Educational Policy Studies | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thomas Luschei | School of Educational Studies | Claremont Graduate University


A global consensus is emerging around the importance of providing marginalized youth with relevant secondary schooling. Currently, powerful stakeholders are defining and prescribing notions of relevance that do not incorporate the experiences, needs, and aspirations of marginalized youth themselves. Global models of relevant secondary education that lack youth perspectives will be at best irrelevant and at worst counterproductive, yet they have the power to shape national policies and secondary education opportunities for the 1.5 billion youth living in developing and emerging economies and in fragile states. At this historic moment, youth-centered research that analyzes a diverse range of marginalized students’ experiences can play a key role in shaping discourses, policies, and practices to support relevant secondary education. Drs. Chudgar, Kendall and Luschei are conducting a two-year mixed-method study in rural and urban public secondary schools in Colombia, India, and Malawi, where they have strong research networks and where youth face distinct sources of marginalization, including violence and displacement, extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Drawing on the common and contrasting insights emerging from these diverse contexts and youth, Drs. Chudgar, Kendall and Luschei aim to deepen understanding of and make visible marginalized youths’ schooling experiences, needs, and aspirations to inform improved global and national secondary education discourses, policies, and practices.,

Grant Type:

Lyle Spencer Research Awards

Grant Amount:




Topic / Subject:

International Education, Comparative Education, Secondary School Education

Methods / Approach:

Content analysis, Other - Qualitative, Survey/Questionnaire

Disciplinary Perspective:

Anthropology, Economics, Education, Other