1.1 Racism can be defined as negative beliefs
or discriminatory behaviour directed at
individuals/groups as a result of their
1.2 Institutional racism defined as "the collective
failure of an organisation to provide an
appropriate & professional service to people
because of their colour, culture or ethnic
origin - MacPherson 1999.
1.3 No. of sociologists believe that the
educational undrachievement of some ethnic
minorities (African Caribbean boys) is a result
of racism, especially institutional racism.
1.3.1 Reflected in school exclusion figures. In 2003/4, 41 black African
Caribbean pupils per 10 000 were excluded from school, compared with
14 per 10 000 smong whites & 2 or less among Indians & Chinese pupils.
1.3.2 African Caribbean boys are more likely to be placed in lower sets.
1.3.3 Bernard Coard (1971) claimed that
there was systematic racism in British
education, with teachers having low
expectations of black pupils, a
curriculum that ignored black history &
culture, & schools that tolerated racism
in the playground.
2 Cecile Wright 1992 - Racism in primary schools
2.1 African Caribbean boys got plenty
of attention, though the majority of
it was negative - teachers expected
them to behave badly.
2.2 Conducted an ethnographic study of 4
multi-racial primary schools using
observation & interviews with teachers.
She found significant evidence of
discrimination by teachers.
2.3 Asian girls got less attention from teachers
than other pupils, & their customs & traditions
were sometimes met with hostility.
3.1 Used documentary evidence about local education
authorities, lesson observation & interviews with pupils
& teachers in 2 London comprehensive schools.
3.2 Found evidence that some local
education authorities were poor at
educating ethnic minorities.
3.3 Found a system of educational triage, in which education
was rationed. Extra help was directed to pupils who were
borderline for getting 5 GCSEs at grades A* - C.
3.3.1 Most black pupils were seen as having little chance
of achieving this & so were not given extra help.
18.104.22.168 Compared with white white peers with similar
levels of acheivement, black pupils were placed
in lower sets & entered fo lower-tier exams.
3.4 There was also evidence of racialized expectations. Behaviour of
black pupils was often misinterpreted as threatening, when in reality
it reflected a desire to take an active part in lessons & to succeed.
3.5 Concluded that unintentional racism was based
on misinterpretations holds back black pupils.
4 Margaret Fuller (1984)
4.1 Found that African Caribbean girls worked extra
hard & were determined to succeed despite
experiencing racism in the education system.
5 Racism & the curriculum
5.1 Some sociologists argue that the curriculum
neglects both ethnic minority culture & topics
of specific interest to ethnic minorities.
5.1.1 For instance, geography & history tend to emphasize
the positive benefits of British colonialism rather than
the negative effects on the former colonies.
5.2 Tikly et al (2006) studied 30 comprehensive schools & found that
a large no. of African Caribbean pupils felt that their culture was
invisible in the curriculum because of a white European focus.
5.2.1 When black history was mentioned, it tended
to be in relation to slavery rather than the
positive contribution of black people to history.
6.1 Inequality has been reduced, with most ethnic minority
groups doing well in British education, but some
problems remain, particularly, for African Caribbean boys.
6.2 Evidence suggests that factors inside & outside
school combine to affect the performance of
ethnic minorities in the education system.
6.3 Unintentional racism in education plays
some part in the underachievement of
African Caribbean pupils in particular.
6.4 Some steps have ben made to reduce unintentional racism,
for instance, through the intro of multicultural curriculum.
6.5 Parental attitudes not a factor, since research
suggests parents from all ethnic groups are strongly
interested in their children's education.
6.6 Class inequality partially explains ethnic differences in
achievement. It affects the educational achievements
of all ethnic minorities, & has a strong effect among
white British, but little effect among Chinese & Indian
6.7 Ethnicity interacts with class & gender to
shape educational achievement, rather than
acting independently of other social divisions.