In the UK, the educational failure of Black and Ethnic Minority young people, is largely blamed not on systemic racism, but on a lack of ‘role models’. Multiple initiatives exist to diversify the teaching workforce justified on the basis of the need to provide more role models to inspire young people. These initiatives contain naïve assumptions of culture matching, and gender matching. They simplify the relationships between teachers and students to ones of mimicry and ignore the experiences of the teachers involved. A new study by Patricia Alexander (pictured), focuses on teachers’ experiences. In this post I summarise what she found when she spoke to Black and Ethnic Minority teachers who identify as role models.
Posts Tagged ‘Stuart Hall’
We are now coming to the end of the reality TV series Tough Young Teachers. This show, screened by UK publicly-funded youth channel BBC Three, focuses on the lives of six beginning teachers in ‘challenging’ London schools. We see these new teachers taking their first lessons. We hear their frustrations and their triumphs. We follow their progress through the ups and downs of the year. This makes good television, as the number of excited tweets each week using #ToughYoungTeachers indicates. However, among the enthusiasm is a strand of critique and concern coordinated by TeacherROAR, for the show focuses not on any first year teachers but on those who enter teaching through a relatively small but rapidly expanding route into teaching: Teach First. Politically popular with both the Labour party and the Conservatives, Teach First brings many fantastic – mostly young – people into teaching. So why the resistance? While Michael Gove may see this as yet more evidence that many teachers are leftie ‘enemies of promise’ more interested in ideology than in supporting young people, in this post Heather shows why we really should be concerned about Teach First and its celebrity teachers.
Recently we’ve been thinking a lot about writing. We’ve just began working on our very first paper from the project (it’s looking at the role of ‘hard work’ in young people’s talk about celebrity). But writing goes beyond formal academic publications: this is the first research study where we’ve been writing in public via this blog almost from day one, whether collecting together our first impressions from the group interviews, describing our methodology in action, or beginning to look at patterns in our data. We’ve also had a chance to reflect on how this ‘faster’ form of academic communication is changing our scholarship. This all got us round to sharing our favourite quotations about writing and in this blog we share these words from bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Stuart Hall and Ole Skovesmose.