Significance Of Race In Education

Essay by ebany October 2004

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Ethnicity refers to the cultural practices and out look of a community, within a society. 1 The term is preferable than theories of race and the immigrant based model. Race is defined as a scientifically discredited term, previously used to describe biologically distinct groups of persons who were alleged to have characteristics of an alterable nature.

Social Science now recognised that race is a socially constructed categorisation which specifies rules for the identification of a given group with cultural differences. This in turn does not distinguish from the fact that all people are the same beneath the skin. This term race can also imply that immigrants will assimilate the culture of their host community. Roy Jenkins Labour Home Secretary in the 60s saw integration not as a flattering process of assimilation but as cultural diversity "in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance". The term ethnicity allows for cultural diversity within a society and shows that different races can co - exist.

Racism can be formed on the singular idea that some people are inferior to others and can be seen as a system of power around which other supporting ideas like racism are based. Racism nourishes practices, which discriminate against minorities and contribute to their unequal positions in Britain. Moreover, there are many spheres of life where the ethnic minorities are faced by discriminatory practices such as education. The area of race in education has attracted considerable debate and literature over the past two decades, all would appear to agree that overall, ethnic minority children do not fair as well in British schools in terms of educational ability as their white counterparts. Where people have tended to disagree provides reason for this disparity and the means of eliminating it. They have all failed to identify the huge variation in the attainment...