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
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