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Title: London South Bank University Educational Studies Module:


1
London South Bank University Educational Studies
Module Equality, Inclusion and
Citizenship Education for Equality Race - 19
Oct 2007 Valuing diversity in Education Dr
Uvanney Maylor
2
Outline of presentation
  • Definitions
  • Does race matter?
  • Why race, ethnicity, culture matter
  • Valuing diversity
  • Factors inhibiting valuing diversity
  • Concluding remarks

3
Ethnicity
  • Essentially a process of group
    identification, ethnicity is a sense of cultural
    and historical identity based on a belonging by
    birth to a distinctive cultural group, for
    example, English, Indian, Irish,
    African-Caribbean. We may belong to at least one
    ethnic group and may also identify with several
    groups at the same time (for example, Yoruba,
    Nigerian, African and Black Briton).
  • (Bhavnani, Mirza and Meetoo 200624)

4
Culture
  • The learned system of shared beliefs, systems of
    meaning, values, custom and behaviours which are
    transmitted from generation to generation.
    Because the relationship between what is taught
    and what is learned is not absolute (some of what
    is transmitted is lost while new discoveries are
    constantly being made and cultural features from
    other groups are taken on) culture exists in a
    constant state of change. Defining and
    understanding culture requires an understanding
    of how cultures intersect with broad structures
    and processes in society.
  • (Bhavnani, Mirza and Meetoo 2006212).

5
Race
  • Race is a changeable term and we have to
    understand the ways in which ideologies and
    structures construct certain groups in ways that
    presume they are naturally distinct. In this
    sense race is not real or a measurable quality,
    hence the use of quotation marks to denote its
    social construction. Race is a social
    relationship in which structural positions and
    social actions are ordered, justified and
    explained by reference to systems and symbols of
    beliefs which emphasise the social and cultural
    relevance of biologically rooted characteristics.
  • (Bhavnani, Mirza and Meetoo 2006217)

6
Racisms
  • Biological racisms are based on notions of
    superiority and inferiority of particular ethnic
    groups
  • Cultural/new racism is premised on the notion of
    cultural difference (e.g. religion, customs,
    traditions) and cultural incompatibility between
    majority and minority ethnic groups
  • (Barker 1981)

7
Institutional racism
  • The collective failure of an organisation to
    provide an appropriate and professional service
    to people because of their colour, culture, or
    ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in
    processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount
    to discrimination through unwitting prejudice,
    ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist
    stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic
    people
  • (Macpherson 199928, para. 6.34).

8
Identities
  • Socially constructed
  • Multiple (e.g. nationality, class, religion, age,
    gender, ethnicity, regional), fluid and will
    continue to change as individuals move between
    identities in different contexts and times
  • People with the same ethnic or national identity
    can have varied perspectives and experiences
  • All forms of social identity have the potential
    to exclude as well as include (Hall, 1996)

9
Does race matter?
Chris Gaine (200521) suggests that race ought
not to matter Shouldnt we all be colour
blind?, to which my answer is, paradoxically,
both no and yes. No, at least for the time being,
because race matters in peoples lives it is
sometimes so relevant so that we have to notice
it, monitor it, refer to it, examine it, pick at
it, in order that we can make it not matter. But
yes, because peoples lives would be better if it
were irrelevant, if it did not matter. Some
teachers think that pupils do not see race as
important In my school I dont think they
think its a big issue because there are many
boys that are ethnic minority it gets to the
point they cant say to another boy you are an
ethnic minority because they may be themselves
anyway. … there are so many boys that may have
slightly different cultures and colour skin but
their parents are English and their grandparents
might be English … I dont think its such an
important thing to them. (White secondary
teacher - Maylor et al., 2006a)
10
Race/ethnicity/culture matters
  • They are essential elements of ones identity
  • Society operates in racialised ways
  • The pupil population is immensely diverse
    even in mainly
  • White schools
  • Pupils bring a variety of backgrounds,
    identities and
  • experiences to the learning environment
  • Pupils have differential school experiences and
    educational
  • outcomes
  • They influence how pupils (and parents) from
    different ethnic
  • backgrounds are viewed at a societal and
    individual school
  • level and the labels that are applied to them
  • Teacher assumptions, expectations and
    judgements are often
  • made about pupils according to their
    perceived identities

11
Black parents schools perceptions
  • Stereotyped views of Black parents as single
    mothers, not valuing education
  • Stereotyped views of Black pupils (as aggressive,
    lazy, difficult, loud)
  • Low teacher expectations
  • Experiences of racism

12
Parents views Stereotyping of Black parents
When you look at the White parents you notice
that there are working class parents and there
are middle class parents. Were just Black
parents, no matter what, were just Black
parents … people need to recognise differences
and … not approach all Black parents in the same
way. (Black parents focus group
1) Teachers need to get to know me and
actually realise that I do know what I am
talking about and I am concerned about my child,
and no, I dont run to Jamaica to bring drugs
into the UK or whatever. (Black
parents focus group 2)
13
Parents views Stereotyping of Black pupils
They view them as lazy, name of son has been
called lazy, difficult, they see them as … Black
boys can be very articulate and they are very
clever and that in a lot of cases is a bit of a …
they are not sure how to deal with it because
their view in this country is they are very good
sportsmen. name of son is crap at football, he
doesnt like sports at all. They have lower
expectations of them … they did this big careers
thing at GCSE level and the idea was to help them
form what A levels and AS levels they wanted to
do and she came home and said but mum they kept
asking me about sport and did I want to do
something in sport? and then she said well
actually, Im quite good at science and then she
the teacher said oh yes look at this, you
should do science. But you know she looked at
what came in, a highly athletic young lady and
she decided that that was what she was going to
do, so yes, I think they still put Black
children into little boxes. (Maylor et al.,
2006b)
14
Some other identity constructions
  • Some cultures value education and support their
    childrens learning e.g. Indian, Chinese
  • Chinese work ethic, high moral standards and
    home culture to achieve
  • Hardworking
  • High teacher expectations
  • (see Archer and Francis, 2007)

15
Valuing diversity in educational practice
Locating race/ethnicity/culture as key concerns
within educational practice would help to
  • Acknowledge and validate majority and minority
    ethnic peoples identities, cultures, and
    experiences within society
  • Counteract notions of homogeneity and challenge
    stereotypes
  • Overcome the distortion of reality that occurs
    when curricula/other resources reflect only the
    dominant culture and/or White experiences are
    extrapolated to apply to the whole of the British
    population assuming that there is shared
    experience
  • Aid the development of a culturally diverse and
    inclusive curriculum
  • Meeting the needs of a culturally diverse society

16
Valuing diversity in educational practice
  • ARTEN (2002 31) argue that
  • Teachers should be prepared to teach in a
    multicultural society and develop culturally
    sensitive practice, respect the religious and
    cultural sensitivities of all pupils and enable
    pupils to understand issues of racial equality.
  • And that all NQTs should demonstrate that
  • They are aware of, and prepared to identify and
    challenge racial bias, and stereotyping in the
    curriculum and teaching materials
  • They are committed to avoiding racial stereotypes
    and bias in their own teaching and are equipped
    to do so
  • They recognise and value the common elements of
    human experience and the diversity embodied in
    different cultures, and seek to reflect both in
    their teaching
  • They are able to recognise, and prepared to deal
    with, manifestations of racism in schools and
    classrooms (ARTEN 2002)

17
Valuing diversity in educational practice
  • The inclusion of race equality concepts in
    lessons should be seen as a normal part of
    effective teaching and learning (Ofsted 20053).
  • Pupils in multiethnic and white schools would
    like more opportunities to learn about diverse
    groups in Britain
  • We dont learn about different people in
    Britain, we just learn about people with
    different cultures.
  • (Mixed heritage girl, Year 5, School D Maylor
    and Read et al., 2007)

18
Factors inhibiting the valuing of diversity
  • Delivering a diverse curriculum is limited by
  • the absence or low numbers of minority ethnic
    groups in some schools There just isnt the
    diversity here (Secondary head)
  • diversity not being identified as a school
    priority
  • a lack of teacher knowledge about ethnic
    diversity and confidence in addressing such
    issues (Maylor and Read, 2007 see also Cline et
    al., 2002 TDA, 2005)

19
Approaches that work
  • The use of pupils own experiences when talking
    about diversity and identities can help reduce
    idealisation and stereotyping of particular
    cultures by some teachers and pupils
  • Teaching strategies that encompass diversity and
    identities should acknowledge differences in
    acceptance and tolerance of people from diverse
    ethnic groups, and pupils attitudes towards
    racism
  • Teachers using their own identity as a means of
    encouraging pupils to develop and express their
    own identities. (Maylor and Read et al., 2007)

20
Valuing diversity key points
  • All pupils need to see their backgrounds
    (ethnicity, cultures) positively reflected and
    valued in an appropriate and accessible diverse
    curriculum. It is important to think about the
    classroom community as composed of individuals
    with a range of identities (e.g. mixed heritage,
    Chinese, White, refugees etc.) rather than as a
    homogeneous mass of pupils
  • Valuing diversity will help to facilitate cross
    cultural communication and understanding

21
Valuing diversity key points
  • In delivering a diverse curriculum teachers will
    need to become more culturally aware and avoid
    adopting a colour blind approach. Becoming more
    culturally aware may require teachers to reflect
    on their own identities including how their
    beliefs/value systems can influence their
    perceptions of different pupil groups and their
    actions in the classroom. It will also require
    challenging the assumptions one makes about
    different ethnic groups. For example, Black
    pupils may be constructed as uneducable but not
    all Black pupils underachieve
  • We have found evidence that every minority
    ethnic group can achieve high results.
    Unfortunately this potential is not always being
    tapped (Gillborn and Mirza 2000).

22
Valuing diversity key points
  • All teachers need to have high pupil expectations
    and develop an understanding of how racism
    impacts on learning
  • The educational needs of minority ethnic pupils
    may well be very different or equally the same as
    White pupils
  • Activities/curriculum alone cannot make a
    difference to race equality in the classroom -
    need ethos and commitment to engage from teachers
    and schools

23
References
  • Archer, L.. and Francis (2007) Understanding
    minority ethnic achievement Race, gender, class
    and success. London Routledge
  • ARTEN (2002) A Framework for Antiracist Teacher
    Education. London ARTEN
  • Barker, M. (1981) The new racism, London
    Junction Books
  • Bhavnani, R., Mirza, H. S. and Meetoo, V. (2006
    reprinted) Tackling the roots of racism lessons
    for success (Bristol The Policy Press).
  • Cline, T., De Abreu, G., Fihosy, C., Gray, H.,
    Lambert, H. and Neale, J. (2002) Minority Ethnic
    Pupils in Mainly White Schools, RR 365 (London
    DfES).
  • Crozier, G. (2005) Beyond the call of duty the
    impact of racism on black parents involvement in
    their childrens education, in G. Crozier Reay,
    D. (eds.) Activating participation parents and
    teachers working towards partnership
    (Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Books)
  • DfES (2003) Every Child Matters (London DfES)
  • Essed, P. (1991) Everyday racism an
    interdisciplinary theory (London Sage)
  • Gaine, C. (2005) Were All White THANKS.
    Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Books
  • Gillborn, D. (1990) Race, ethnicity and
    education (London Unwin Hyman)

24
References
  • Gillborn, D. and Mirza, H. S. (2000) Educational
    inequality mapping, race, class and gender
    (London Ofsted)
  • Hall, S. (1996) New Ethnicities, in Baker, Jr.
    H., Diawara, M., and Lindeborg, R. (eds) Black
    British Cultural Studies (Chicago and London,
    University of Chicago Press).
  • Macpherson, W. (1999) The Stephen Lawrence
    Inquiry. London, Stationery Office.
  • Mason, D. (2000) (2nd edition) Race and Ethnicity
    in Modern Britain. Oxford Oxford University
    Press.
  • Maylor, U. and Read, R. with Mendick, H., Ross,
    A. and Rollock, N. (2007) Diversity and
    Citizenship in the Curriculum Research Review,
    Research Report. 819. Nottingham DfES.
  • Maylor, U., Ross, A. Hutchings, M., Rollock, N.
    and Williams, K. (2006a) Teacher Education
    Addressing Multiculturalism in Europe, England
    Country Report 2 (Available at
    http//www.cice.londonmet.ac.uk).
  • Maylor, U., Ross, A., Rollock, N. and Williams,
    K. (2006b) Black Teachers in London A report for
    the Mayor of London. London GLA.
  • Ofsted (2005) Race Equality in Education Good
    practice in schools and local education
    authorities. London Ofsted HMI 589
  • TDA (2005) Results of the Newly Qualified Teacher
    Survey 2005. London TDA.
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