How Important Is Racism In The Educational Experience Of Pupils In Britain From Minority Ethnic Groups?

1219 words - 5 pages

How Important is Racism in the Educational Experience of Pupils in
Britain from Minority Ethnic Groups

What is racism? The Cambridge International dictionary of English
describes it as "the belief that people's qualities are influenced by
their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the
members of your own, which results in the other races being treated
unfairly"

From the reader (block 5 unit 4) 'race' was a term used in scientific
literature in the eighteenth century to explain the differences
between humans. Their view was that 'races' were biologically
different. This theory has been discredited by modern scientific
thought however the word race is used in order that people can
understand what is being discussed in terms of ethnic minorities. The
reader goes on to describe 'racism' as "individual or personal racism
refers to attitudes and behaviour that display or draw on stereotypes,
bias or prejudice. Prejudice refers to an unwarranted pre-judgement
and can be derogatory or favourable." If racism can be favourable,
does that mean that it is welcomed in that particular instance or does
it mean favourable racism somehow cancels out the derogatory racism?
On the other hand, is all racism fundamentally wrong? We hear about
the derogatory racism in the press on an almost daily basis. An
article in The Guardian (Tuesday January 15th 2002) told us of the
racial division in Bradford schools, where we have seen racially
motivated riots. An instance of favourable racism appears in the same
article when Labour MP Dianne Abbott said more black male teachers in
the classroom as role models for the underachieving Afro-Caribbean
pupils. This is also a clear case of generalisation. Another would be
the claim that Asian girls are under-achieving because their culture
discouraged them from following an academic path. From the research
done, there is definitely a tendency to 'lump' together the pupils
from ethnic minorities. Unfortunately in Bradford, the segregation is
blindingly obvious in that there are schools with all Asian pupils and
schools with all white pupils. What is needed here is a pragmatic
response to the realities faced by this city.

The importance of racism in education is that racism means education
is not able to support the need to provide all pupils with a fair,
diverse and relevant education. The fact that there are all
white/Asian schools proves this.

A study shown in Families, Education and Social Differences came out
with the evidence, from interviews that over half the pupils felt that
school did not develop a multicultural curriculum. They felt that the
school did little to foster and educate the diversity of culture in
modern Britain. Some said that any cultural education outside of the
'Anglo-Saxon' culture was merely a token gesture...

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