The Respecting Children blog has been concerned with linking research evidence to demonstrate how issues of social justice and inequality have recurred over the last forty years. The generation of empirical data is considered to be one way to support an argument and demonstrate a need for change within education policy or practice. Researchers working in the field of “race”, ethnicity and education have built up a sizeable range of data to demonstrate how “race” and ethnicity in intersection with other factors such as poverty impact on the educational outcomes of minority ethnic children (Strand 2014), or how ethnicity affects the experiences of Black and minority ethnic trainee teachers in schools (Flintoff 2014; Pearce 2014). Continue reading What’s story-telling got to do with research?
I have read with interest and concern the Twitter debate generated by my blog “A Classroom Story” which was created as a counter-story. The characters William and the class teacher were representations of typical experiences composed from different accounts which were reported by Black male student teachers during a small scale research project in 2013. Continue reading Response to “A Classroom Story” Jasmine Rhamie
William dropped exhausted on his bed. He hadn’t realised how hard it would be to train as a primary teacher. After relaxing for an hour he carefully reviewed his teaching and marked children’s work. They had done very well and it was rewarding to note how well they had understood and progressed in maths. He thought about how he would move them on to the next concept and amended his planning in light of his marking and reflections. Continue reading Classroom Story
by VICTORIA SHOWUNMI
Institute of Education
As I stood in the bathroom about to wash my daughter’s face I noticed that she looked rather unhappy. I stopped what I was doing and asked her what was wrong. The conversation went something like this: Continue reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears
In a climate of austerity and radical change in education, I am concerned about the challenges faced by Black parents to find ways to achieve the best educational outcomes for their children in an ever selective and competitive educational environment. The pace and direction of change is worrying and demonstrates the need for Black pupils to develop greater resilience in order to succeed in an education system set up to increase the purchasing power of the White middle classes to the disadvantage of Black pupils. Continue reading Resilience, the Black child and the coalition government
The Troops to Teachers (TtT) programme was introduced in England in autumn 2013. The programme fast-tracks ex-armed service members into teaching in schools and is supported both by the current Coalition government, and the previous Labour government.
The White Paper, The Importance of Teaching (Department for Education 2010), gives the main purposes for the introduction of TtT as twofold: firstly, poor standards of achievement in comparison with other industrialised nations, and secondly, a need for increased discipline in schools. Continue reading The militarisation of education: ‘Troops to Teachers’ and the implications for Initial Teacher Education and race equality
Below I discuss two concerns which have preoccupied me for a while now.
Since the 1960s’s in schools and educational policy discourse much has been made about the lower attainment of Black children (but specifically Black Caribbean) and the perceived lack of parental valuing of education, and supporting their children’s educational attainment. So it was no surprise to hear a teacher at a conference (aimed at encouraging Black children to consider careers requiring higher education study) in 2009 point to Black educational failure being cultural and innate, and questioning whether ‘Black people’s culture predisposed them to underachievement’. Some might consider this a statement of fact given the persistent lower attainment of Black Caribbean students vis-à-vis White British students. While the comment by the teacher incensed me, it did not affect me as much as I was by a Black teenager at the conference who said, ‘lots of people say we can’t do it, people like me are a failure’. Continue reading Teaching Black children
Racism is vile. Three weeks ago I would have thought that just about everyone in Britain would agree with that statement – even though some of those might still behave in racist ways. But in May the British Social Attitudes’ Survey reported that a third of all surveyed admitted to being racist . Why has this arisen when many suggest Britain is now a more tolerant society? Continue reading Race, Racism and Education: What Can we Learn from History?
Respect was, is, and always will be the cornerstone of any meaningful attempt at dialogue. It is therefore apposite that BERA has put respect at the heart of designing a future we have not yet realised. It is also pertinent that the voice of the young should take centre stage in this endeavour. Try as we may, we are not young people and we cannot know what they are thinking, experiencing and feeling unless we make serious efforts to really listen to them. Sometimes when we attempt to engage in debates about young people, often polar views are presented: if only youth would listen to the sage advice of experience there would be no problem. Continue reading Respecting Young People: Learning from the Past
Girls remain largely absent from educational discourse, eclipsed by an ongoing media and policy obsession with the ‘boys underachievement debate’. The concern is now on the lower achievement of boys, particularly African Caribbean and white working-class boys and, more recently, in the wake of the Trojan Horse fiasco in Birmingham, the threat of Islamic extremism among Muslim boys. The ‘post feminist’ complacency that there has been an overall improvement in the performance of girls in schools, which is seen at the expense of boys, masks the real educational difficulties faced by girls from working-class minority ethnic backgrounds. Continue reading Are girls losing out? Educational issues for Muslim, black and minority ethnic migrant girls