It is hard to find anyone these days who disagrees with the idea that educational opportunities should be equalised or that the poorest kids should get the richest teaching. After all, more equal outcomes demand not just that the quality of the educational experience is the same in all schools, but that it is better in places where learners are more likely to be disengaged or held back by material, social or emotional disadvantages. So how can we make this happen? Continue reading Poorest children, richest teaching
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