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The Struggle of People of Colour in Classrooms

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2273 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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As Canada is a multicultural country, many believe that racism is not an issue however, speculating the educational institutions, there has been many different types of racism verbalized or even in textbooks by students and teachers. Although many individuals are unaware or ignorant towards the amount of racism that occurs in educational settings, it is important to address this problem to the society. The long history of discriminatory acts against the minority groups is one aspect that may go unnoticed and must be informed. Racial minority groups in educational settings today still experience racism and hate, this is another aspect that must be studied. The final outlook that must be addressed is the future of combating all issues of racial inequality.

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It is significantly important to be aware of the many years that racism has been apart of our society and especially within the educational systems. Within the Canadian school system the most widespread example of racism is in its colonialist treatment of Aboriginal peoples. The establishment, across the country of residential schools for Aboriginal children from the late 1800s continuing through the 1970s, as the purpose was to isolate thousands of native children from their families, language and culture and to assimilate them into the civilized Christian preferred way of being (Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 2000). Many suffered sexual and physical abuses, as well as the psychological traumas of minimization, acculturation, and dehumanization. Some schools across Canada seem to forget about this terrorizing history as this issue in school curriculums does not seem to come up as often as it should and bring awareness also educate students about diversity. In the early 1900s, education in Alabama(United States) suffered from short school terms, low funding, and racism. For instance, the average length of the school year was 72 days for white students and only 34 days for African Americans students, in the mid-1920s, white schools received some $13.1 million in funds, and black schools received only $1.4 million. The average annual salary for white male teachers was $863 and for white female teachers $422, whereas African American male teachers earned $480, and black women teachers earned just $140 (Harvey, 2010). This is not just about the materialistic values but it shows how the people in political power were prejudice towards the black community and had the mentality that they are less likely to succeed. But in reality the shortage of money became the biggest barrier to educational progress. It is very easy for people to forget about the history but one must learn from the mistakes as well as inform others about racism. Clearly, many students and teachers of colour suffered prejudice and discrimination from schools and the government.

The current issues such as racial stereotypes, being prejudice based on someone’s race or ethnicity is another negative aspect that must be approached and informed. It is a false idea that majority of racism in schools are students against one another. A few White teachers stated that antiracist education should not be an area of concern because it had nothing or little to do with some disciplines. White teachers suggested that anti racism efforts should be stopped. As one teacher explained: Most teachers consider antiracist education an unnecessary fad. They don’t view themselves as racist (even if they are) (Carr, P.,& Klassen,T). Even today, many teachers refuse to believe that racism is a problem in their classrooms or may often turn to color blindness. Disregarding a race or someone’s colour is not the solution for racism in education, color blindness eliminates student’s individualities. Every time a teacher says, “I don’t see color,” it is like voiding a child by denying to recognize them for who they really are. As well as failing to prepare them to enter a world who will see color as a factor to their success and abilities (Mohammed, 2017). Racism can take many forms, verbal abuse and/or racist slurs. It can be written in text or the use of an image that is stereotypical, disparaging, or offensive. It can appear in social interaction, for example, refusing to be next to someone or physical attacks. It can also be present in policies, practices, and patterns of relationships in an organization and society (Manitoba Human Rights Commission). Between 2007 and 2010 it has been reported that racist incidents in schools in England, Scotland and Wales rose from 22 285 to 23 971. Many areas saw an increase of 40 percent or more over the period 2007/08 to 2009/10. Data from 90 areas shows 87 915 cases of racist bullying, which can include name calling and physical abuse (Talwar, 2012). In schools many kids tell others to take racial and stereotypical slurs as a ‘joke’, but this issue must be taken seriously as it is damaging to the students. Additionally, the teachers are not stopping this ongoing racist behaviours among kids which is why the number of racist incidents are only increasing. The education system and the society must work on educating those who are simple minded and racist towards innocent people. Especially in Canada, there is a belief that there is no widespread racism, however this is incorrect as elsewhere, the belief in white superiority is reflected in the dominance of civilizations, languages and cultures of European origin. Indeed, students are supposed to feel safe and have someone to dependent on, however racists acts that reoccur in many schools are causing pain to many students.

Challenging racism and promoting equality for students’ future is a final and an important concept that must be looked at. Because of how everyone lives in a culture, some may argue that their racist and prejudice ideas and statements are just a personal opinion (ACLRC). A report completed at York University found that the Greater Toronto Area, black students are routinely being streamed into applied programs rather than academic ones, and suspended at much higher rates than their counterparts (Clawley, 2017). Collecting race based data within students could help educators make learning more comprehensive, from addressing systemic racism to designing lessons relevant to all students’ experiences. Gathering statistics will help reduce assumptions and the ingrained practices established in schools. This may help the students in the future to receive education without the perception of others who are prejudice. The majority of the existing literature is focused on the racism that Black students, particularly Black boys. Education research must not only improve its delivery of the importance and impact of anti-Black racism on school policies and structures (Dumas, 2016), it must also enhance the intersectional studies of racism (Hopson & Dixson, 2011), as well as specific analyses of the racialized educational experiences of Hispanic, indigenous, Pacific Islander, and Asian students. No one should judge or forget that every racial minority groups suffer discrimination and experience exclusion. Everyone must be exposed to this negative factor of our society and take part in decreasing racism in classrooms. In conclusion, there must be advancements in the educational system. For future directions in education schools should include a more direct acknowledgement of racism.

The history, current and the future of racism in education must be explored through different perspectives in order to find equity for all students and teachers.Racism is very common in schools. The schools must start now to reduce racism in education as it will not just vanish from the society. There is still an increasing number of people who are uninformed or indifferent towards racism, stereotyping or any discriminatory acts that occur in classrooms and the society. Everyone should be able to receive the same education and be able to embrace their racial and ethnic diversity.


The general topic covered in this article is the perception of White and racial minority teachers concerning antiracist education in Toronto. This article examines topics on which

White and racial minority teachers have different perspectives, views of antiracist education. The authors review different experiences from a diverse student body and the findings of a research done in the Toronto Board of Education. This article reveals a strong bias towards the minority group and the need for employment equity, racial minority teachers as role models, the role of principals in antiracist education. This source is relevant is to my topic because racial diversity is mentioned in this article as it connects to racial minority individuals facing greater barriers than White teachers in the education system. It will fit in with my argument as it helps to make a point on how Whites have a real influence and dominance in institutions and thus on society (negatively affecting people of colour). The opinion on this topic has not changed based on this source.

In this article, Grant analyzes the concerns relating to racism in schools and society as well as the role of schools in educating the students about racism. The author examines the insufficient laws that enforced racist acts along with the history of minority students and faculty in the schools or institutions. Grant discloses the bias of schools only increasing racism and the unfair laws. It seems that the author’s objective is to inform the audience about the patterns of discrimination and act to eliminate racism in school settings. This article will be relevant to my topic and essay as it provides an excellent study of the primary and secondary sources combined to talk about the hardships the minority groups went through in schools and the society.

This article explores the present and historical aspects of racism in Canada, and a problematic lack of engagement of eliminating school based racism and social injustice, especially in teachers. Following the review of the shared experiences and views of school based racism, the author exposes the contemporary theoretical and political issues. The author’s objective seems to be to start a discussion among the ongoing discrimination and the lack of informing about diversity and equality in education.  The intended audience may be those open and wanting a deeper understanding of how the education system is not teaching its staff and students accurately about racial topics. This article contributes an excellent analysis as it provides incisive personal reflections on the subject of racism and discrimination are illuminating, including their sharing insights addressing specific blind spots in facing racist beliefs.


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