Loughborough University
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Adolescent pupils perceptions of teacher racism

posted on 2010-11-18, 10:11 authored by Paul Naylor
Underpinning this research, is the belief that lying at the heart of the process of education, is the interpersonal relationship between the teacher and pupil. However, we have very little knowledge of this relationship from the view of ethnicity, particularly from the pupils' perspective. It is argued that the revelation of these perceptions is fundamentally important in coming to an understanding of the effects teacher racism and ethnocentricity may have on pupils, why some of our schools seem to alienate so many ethnic-minority pupils, and why educational opportunity is not equal for all ethnic groups. So, four 5-minute video presentations of actual classroom episodes, reconstructed for the purposes of the research have been produced. The films were scripted and role-played by a multi-ethnic group of twenty-one, Year Nine and Year Ten, comprehensive school pupils. Each film focuses on the behaviour of a white, female teacher towards pupils of visible ethnic minority groups. A drama teacher elicited performances from the pupils and faithfully interpreted their directions in her portrayal of each of their four devised teacher roles. Most of the pupil role-players subsequently provided their independent accounts of each of the roleplays. These accounts have been subjected to qualitative content analysis and systematic network analysis. These analyses have resulted in the modelling of the participants' perceptions of teachers' racist behaviours and actions. This model suggests that the participants consider that racist teachers do not accord 'black' pupils standards of respect and justice which compare favourably with those which they accord 'white' pupils. The qualitative analysis (content analysis and systematic network analysis) of the bubble dialogue data, has revealed a number of ways in which adolescents think that the racist teacher thinks. The participants in this research seem to be suggesting that, ultimately, the racist teacher's thinking is driven by the idea that '"white" people have a divine right to rule'. Therefore, in view of the conclusion that adolescents do have a shrewd awareness of teacher racism, it has been proposed that there is a clear need for the further racism awareness training of teachers, and, in fact, of all adults who have work-based relationships with young people. However, it has also been said that many lines of enquiry for further investigation have been suggested by this research.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


© Paul Naylor

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Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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