I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt. The person engaged in active racist behavior has identified with the ideology of White supremacy and is moving with it. Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. Some of the bystanders may feel the motion of the conveyor belt, see the active racists ahead of them, and choose to turn around, unwilling to go to the same destination as the White supremacists. But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt – unless they are actively antiracist – they’ll find themselves carried along with the others. (Tatum 1999, p11-12)
Tatum, B. (1999) ‘Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?’ And other conversations about race New York : Basic Books
Following today’s seminar on Race Ethnicity and Education, we were asked to complete a Reflective Log with a focus on developing our Personalised Agendas.
During the session, we reflected on the ideas of ‘Good Practice’ and utilised ideas from our own experiences in the classroom to inform our thinking. Throughout the activity, I became more and more aware of the difficulties of implementing different ideas to promote diversity. I found this quite surprising as our discussion identified that most of the give statements should be used cautiously as it was likely that they could become inappropriate. This means that in practice, how they are utilised in the classroom and the discussion that they prompt are the deciding factors as to what should be implemented.
In addition to this activity, we came up with 5 action points for teachers. However, these ideas should additionally be used cautiously to ensure diversity is still promoted…
- Deal with issues immediately
- Diverse resources for children to play with and utilise
- School ethos/motto
- Workshops for teachers, students and parents
- Learn words and phrases from different languages to utilise in the classroom – for example, ‘Good Morning’ to use alongside the register to include all children
My knowledge and understanding of this issue still needs to be developed through the use of readings and resources and I personally would like to develop more in terms of techniques that I can utilise to promote diversity and tackle any issues within the classroom.