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"There is evidence of racism in schools and this is a significant factor in accounting for the education outcomes of different ethnic groups." - Discuss

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Sociology Essay "There is evidence of racism in schools and this is a significant factor in accounting for the education outcomes of different ethnic groups." I recent years there have been considerable interest in the educational performance of ethnic minorities. A number of studies have been carried on this issue, a common example is the government - sponsored Swann Committee report Education for all. This report carries out research on different aspect on educational performance, and one aspect that stands out form all is, racism in school. Although the precise findings of studies have varied, most have found that, overall, ethnic minorities (blacks, Asians and other nationalities) tend to do less well than other members in the population. The Swann report found important differences between ethnic minorities' children and white children. From a survey of five LEAs it was found that Asian children did almost as well as whites or 'others'. Asians were slightly less likely than 'others' to get five or more graded results in GCSE exam or any other sort of important examination qualifications. Although the Swann report did stress the importance of the Asian community doing quite well, a certain type of Asian community known as the Bangladeshi did particularly bad, was this, the result of racism or the result of ignorance. ...read more.


A number of writers suggest that the nature of family life affects level of attainment among ethnic minorities. If this view is taken then West Indians are held to have a family life which fails to encourage children to do well in education and in which there is an adequate provision of toys, books and stimulation from West Indian parents. It has also been suggested that the West Indian population in Britain has a high proportion of one parent families and a large number of working women who leave their children without close parental supervision in the early years of their lives. In contrast to West Indian families, Asian families are widely believed to be more close knit and supportive of their children's education. In a summary of the report done by Swann, suggested that Asian family structure were more tightly knit than either the white or West Indian family, and that this contributes to responsibility for the higher level of achievement posed by many Asian children. Geoffrey Driver and Roger Ballard claim that the majority of the original South Asian immigrants to Britain come from rural areas had little formal education. ...read more.


The word 'white' is associated with good; the word 'black' with evil. Coard gives an example of a children's book which the 'white unicorn' and the 'white boys' are able to repel an attack by the violent and evil 'black pirates', (III) The content of the education that children receive tends to ignore black people. Reading books often contain only white people, and when blacks do feature they are normally shown in subservient social roles such as servants. Coard claims that the people whose lives are studied and acclaimed are white. Black culture, music and art are all conspicuous by their absence from the curriculum, (IV) The attitudes to race conveyed in the classroom are reinforced by the pupils outside it. In playground arguments white children may retaliate by describing West Indians as 'black bastards'. Research has shown that teachers expect black children to fail and this produces a self fulfilling prophecy in which they live up to the expectation they have been labeled with. Not only are black children played in lower sets, they themselves believe that they are certain to fail. Research shows that a majority of West Indian children are portrayed by their teachers as underachievers with disciplinary problems. ...read more.

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