Three Powerful Words – Race, Ethnicity and Discrimination

This post is a reflection from the Values: Self Society and the Professions lecture on Tuesday 26th September 2017 with Derek Robertson.

Summary of Events

Before the lecture began, we were all asked to write down our initial thoughts on the terms Race, Ethnicity, and Discrimination. These are all terms in which although I have heard numerous times, have never really looked up or thought of concrete definitions. For example, it was only until this exercise specifically that I realised that there is actually a substantial difference between the terms ‘Race’ and ‘Ethnicity’. Upon further thoughts, I came to the conclusion that ‘Ethnicity’ is more linked to your origins/ethnic ‘group’ – who you are associated with. In Hindsight, this seems obvious, but maybe I’m only thinking that because I have that definition in my bank of knowledge now. Discrimination was the term I understood best – I thought of it as ‘thinking and showing you are superior to another group of individuals’. Having not studied History past CfE level, it was eye-opening to see how these terms were used in the wider picture – specifically in America, as this was what was covered in depth during the lecture. During the second part of the lecture, we looked at ‘patriarchy’, which I admittedly knew little about. I actually knew about the concept pretty well. however did not know the official term to label it. Of course, blatantly obvious now, this is indeed ‘patriarchy’, where men assume dominance over women.

Reflection of Thoughts

With not a great deal of knowledge in regards to the definitions, I am very happy to now have these in my head, and when it comes to professional work in the classroom, and possibly other learning environments, this is going to be extremely beneficial in allowing me to become a well-minded teacher. Of course, I am not a historian, so there were also events shown in the lecture I was not aware of such as Emmett Till and Stephen Lawrence, so these will also help better my understanding of these issues.

1 thought on “Three Powerful Words – Race, Ethnicity and Discrimination

  1. Derek Robertson

    Yes Jay, a big part of undertaking a University degree is coming to terms, concepts etc. that you were previously ignorant of (ignorant in terms of not knowing). That sense of you becoming a well-minded teacher is an admirable one and I wish you well on your journey towards that. Have a look at the GTCS’ SPR and in particular the first section to see how the emphasis on Social Justice in what we do sits with your aspiration.

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