Before my lecture on racism, I always thought the minority of people were racist, because it was rare for people to verbally and physically attack people, due to their race. However, it wasn’t until this lecture that I realised how complex racism is.
Firstly, I learnt that cultural and institutional racism does impact peoples’ individual opinions and stereotypes. For instance, our culture negatively stereotypes ethnic groups; resulting in our individual opinions being affected, e.g. our culture normalises the idea that ethnic groups are trying to steal our jobs and don’t contribute financially to our society. Where in fact ethnic groups are usually filling rejected and unwanted jobs in our local area, whilst still having to pay taxes. Furthermore, our society has indirectly embedded racism into our institutions; for example, a black individual may be charged with a harsher sentence, despite committing the same crime as a white individual. Both types of racism are causing us as individuals to unintentionally discriminate against marginalised groups.
Also, this lecture reminded me of how racism is still a widespread problem. By reading further I was taught that even in the business and political world, ethnic groups must try twice as hard to be as successful or powerful, as white individuals. For example, the UK parliament are dominated by a white population and LORD Ouseley said, “Minority ethnicities can’t break through the white executive network, to get top jobs.”
Additionally, it was brought to my attention that racism is still a problem within our educational institutions today. A teacher’s microaggressions, often result in white pupils getting more attention and help, than pupils with different skin colours. I found it worrying that our unconscious bias could even impact how we divide our time as teachers. Moreover, after this lecture I did further research and discovered that only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black or from a minority ethnic group. This shows how our society still portrays the black population as inferior to the white.
This lecture has inspired me to actively fight against racism within education, by trying to make myself more aware of my unconscious biases; then hopefully I will be able to reduce any form of racial discrimination, in my classes that I attend and teach in.
Every time I tell people I want to be a primary school teacher they always ask, “Why? Children are crazy, hyperactive and annoying.” However, I always remind them that there are many benefits to being a primary school teacher, for example it’s a very rewarding job, no day is ever the same and of course, the long summer holidays.
From the age of about 8 I always knew I wanted to work within the education sector, because as a child I loved learning new information, attending after school clubs and playing with friends. Despite loving the social and intellectual aspect of school, as I grew up I noticed many inequalities and faults within our education system. One major problem is the attainment gap, the fact that a child’s family income and background can affect a child’s future is not acceptable. I’ve seen on countless occasions children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds being left to struggle to do their school work alone, whilst other peers had private tutors for support. I strongly believe all schools should have a support system in place; where all pupils, especially those that don’t get help at home, are able to receive free educational support.
Another reason I want to be a teacher is to empower women. Women for centuries have lived in a patriarchal society, where their opportunities have been limited; they’ve been expected to cook, clean and look after the children. However, I want to ensure that this outlook on women is completely removed, ensuring that women are given equal opportunities in education, the workplace and society.
Finally, children of today will make up our future politicians, lawyers and doctors; therefore, it’s essential that we invest in each individual child, to unleash their full potential.