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How Important is Racism in the Educational Experience of Pupils in Britain from Minority Ethnic Groups?

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Introduction

How Important is Racism in the Educational Experience of Pupils in Britain from Minority Ethnic Groups What is racism? The Cambridge International dictionary of English describes it as "the belief that people's qualities are influenced by their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the members of your own, which results in the other races being treated unfairly" From the reader (block 5 unit 4) 'race' was a term used in scientific literature in the eighteenth century to explain the differences between humans. Their view was that 'races' were biologically different. This theory has been discredited by modern scientific thought however the word race is used in order that people can understand what is being discussed in terms of ethnic minorities. The reader goes on to describe 'racism' as "individual or personal racism refers to attitudes and behaviour that display or draw on stereotypes, bias or prejudice. Prejudice refers to an unwarranted pre-judgement and can be derogatory or favourable." If racism can be favourable, does that mean that it is welcomed in that particular instance or does it mean favourable racism somehow cancels out the derogatory racism? ...read more.

Middle

The importance of racism in education is that racism means education is not able to support the need to provide all pupils with a fair, diverse and relevant education. The fact that there are all white/Asian schools proves this. A study shown in Families, Education and Social Differences came out with the evidence, from interviews that over half the pupils felt that school did not develop a multicultural curriculum. They felt that the school did little to foster and educate the diversity of culture in modern Britain. Some said that any cultural education outside of the 'Anglo-Saxon' culture was merely a token gesture and no real information or enthusiasm came across. It was more a pacifying gesture on the part of the school to fulfil a quota. We now have a base for what we mean by 'racism' and a sample view of where the schools fail in multicultural education. One theory is that the unfortunate impact of this 'racism' is the underachievement of some minority ethnic groups. ...read more.

Conclusion

His academic progress was watched and it did improve whilst living there. He did not have the same 'cultural' influences in the country as in the city. The family showed him the true culture that was his heritage rather than the modern culture of rap and hip-hop that he bases his value system on. This program showed how the external culture influenced this particular pupil and by removing it and replacing it with a more positive yet relevant culture increased his need to succeed and achieve. This could read that it is not the 'British' culture of racism that works against the Afro-Caribbean pupils but the culture they themselves have developed and adopted. From the discussions, the programmers and participants in the documentary had with the boy, it seemed he had a derogatory racist attitude to white people on one occasion saying the family he stayed with were "too white". This was what sparked the family into educating the boy on his true cultural heritage. So the racism was coming from the ethnic minority pupil as apposed to the educational environment and the people within it. This shows racism again does have an important role in modern education with specific influence on ethnic minority groups. ...read more.

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