A Critical Analysis Of Anti Racism Policy In Schools.

4181 words - 17 pages

PrefaceAn Anglo, Christian, British monarchical, colonial expansionist, Commonwealth country, is 'implementing' Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination policies and legislation…Ya……and Australia was 'declared' terra nullius……and America invaded Iraq to force a 'democracy' on its people……and the Romans 'tried' to be Greek….IntroductionIn Indigenous Australians' "struggle against racism and other forms of discrimination and injustice, education is the key" (Revd Boggo Pilot, in Shnukal, 2002:9).'Race' is a socially constructed concept with social implications resulting in "social and political struggles… related to processes of racial categorisation" (Sarup, 1991 in Ninnes, 2000:112; Conference of Education Systems Chief Executive Officers, 2000). These processes extend to the education.The NSW Anti-Racism Policy 2005 (ARP2005) (NSW Department of Education & Training (NSWDET), 2005, Appendix A) is the state government's call to action addressing racism in NSW schools. It superseded the NSW Anti-Racism Policy Statement 1992 (NSWDET, 2005a), however the implementation details for the ARP2005 are still "under development" (NSWDET, 2005b) despite now being June 2006. The ARP2005 will be analysed by considering it in its textual, discoursive and contextual frameworks (Grundy, 1994; Taylor, Rizvi, Lingard & Henry, 1997). Attention will also be given to the extent to which NSW education as a result of ARP2005 satisfies the principles of the curricular justice model (Connell, 1993).This paper will discuss the notion of racism, and analyse how the ARP2005 is addressing and not addressing racism in education in NSW, with emphasis on Indigenous Australians. The discussion will show how inherent racism lies within the structure of Australian society which ameliorates the preservation of Australia's dominant Anglo-centric ethos - an important contextual policy factor.NSW Anti-Racism Policy 2005 - Context: The Notion of RacismIn the past, racism was ascribed to "overt" behaviours. Today, it manifests subtly through "discourse that constructs… cultural incompatibility" which marginalises and delegitimises ethnic groups (EDCX348, 2006:58) and "disempowers people by devaluing their identity" (Conference of Education Systems Chief Executive Officers, 2000).These discourses are used as an indirect means of controlling and dominating non-Anglo Australians including Indigenous Australians socially and economically (Hickling-Hudson & Ahlquist, 2003:65; Ninnes, 2000:115), "subordinating them to the interests of the dominant group" (Castles & Vasta, 1996:6, in Ninnes, 2000:116). This form of racism arising from "social structures and social relations" (Ninnes, 2000:123) is defined from a "sociological perspective" (McConaghy, 2000:135; Ninnes, 2000:114). This is the definition of racism adopted in this paper.Racism occurs at the interpersonal, institutional and state levels linked together...

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