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Assess the view that ethnic minority pupils are discriminated against in the education system.

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Introduction

Priya Bahal Assess the view that ethnic minority pupils are discriminated against in the education system There are currently significant differences in the educational attainment of ethnic minority pupils compared to their white peers, as shown in the statistics from Social Trends. There are many possible factors that may account for this and for the purposes of this essay I will explore the idea of discrimination against ethnic minority pupils. Some pupils may be treated differently either due to racism or inaccurate views made by the teachers which lead to labelling. The Swan Report was done in 1985 in Britain after it was felt that research should be conducted into the differing attainments of ethnic minority pupils. This report concluded that there was not much racism in Britain at that time and if there was, it may have been from resources such as books so is consequently dying out. Due to the age of the Swan Report, its findings may not be as valid today, so this would indicate that the amount of racism, if any, would have decreased dramatically. ...read more.

Middle

From this, it can be said there is very little or no discrimination against ethnic minorities as schemes have even been introduced to reduce the small amount of covert racism. From primary school research Cecile Wright found that teachers gave Asian girls; less attention, perceived them as an annoyance and spoke to them in simple language. From a personal point of view, I have not experienced this and consequently feel that this view is a little out-of-date. It may have occurred when new immigrants arrived to this country as their language skills would have been minimal and people would not have been used to seeing pupils from other ethnic groups. However, today, Britain is a multicultural country and up to four generations of ethnic minority families have settled here, so their language skills have dramatically improved and they are no longer seen as an addition to the country, but more part of it. This therefore, disproves Wright's work and shows that ethnic minority pupils are not discriminated against. Aside from racism, labelling from teachers is another factor that may cause discrimination to ethnic minority pupils. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of the later immigrants may have language barriers that may cause problems with their educational ability, resulting in them not doing as well. Finally, the family background of all the different cultures is so vast that it would be another factor affecting their achievement. Overall, I feel the view that ethnic minority pupils are being discriminated against in the education system is not a fair judgement to make as we have seen there are many issues that go with this subject. For example, the idea of discrimination can be interpreted in many different ways. It could be direct racism in which a child is singly stereotyped and discriminated against, or a milder form where a cohort of people are having ethnocentric teaching. The consequent issue that needs to be tackled is that if there is not labelling then why is there such a difference in the abilities of ethnic groups. Personally, I feel this is due to the smaller issues as discussed earlier which are different to each ethnic group hence causing the different levels of ability. ...read more.

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