Race, Ethnicity and Education

Deficit theory argues that students who differ from the norm in a significant way should be considered different

BME (Black Minority Ethnic) – non-white communities in UK 

David Harewood Documentary – “Will Britain ever have a black President?”

  • 45% of Afro-Caribbean children grow up in poverty – 25% white children.
  • By the age of 5 those children identified above will be one year behind their wealthy counterparts in terms of their vocabulary – position of deficit.
  • Children who are Black will work twice as hard because education is seen as an escape route – away from poverty and not in a disadvantages (Burgees, 2013) 
  • Black children are underachieving in primary school and there is a decline in KS2 (statistics from documentary)




How we respond to our opinions and discussions regarding race, ethnicity and cultural diversity we show our own position. Position determined by our own race. Our positionality can be influenced by others. 

Firstly acknowledge out own race to then determine how we express our views and actions regarding this area. 

Unconscious bias – stereotypes can influence this and we can have an opinion unknowingly due to believing this information. This can then influence racism and could be highly resistant to change. 

We can gravitate to people who are like ourselves and this forms opinions.


…is Manifestation of hatred towards someone who has different characteristics to our own (Todorow, 2009)

  • Institutional racism failure of an organisation to provide appropriate and professional service for people who are deemed different due to their characteristics – BME 
  • We have to acknowledge racism and institutional racism to change the procedures around this for example practice/policy. 

What can you do as a teacher/educator?

  • Cannot assess through looking at a collection of people because you cannot identify if someone is from a BME background. 
  • get to know children on a personal basis – meeting their individual needs 
  • talk about families with pupils 
  • Deal with incidents because we have a duty to acknowledge and deal with this 
  • acknowledge children’s awareness of racism in the community – PSHE/ the news 
  • Follow ‘race equality policy’ all schools should have one 
  • Behaviour policy to also be followed in regards to bullying as this policy and the above work collaboratively. 
  • recognise when yours or other comments are racist or not


Pyramid of hate 



Criminal – first 2



Civil – middle 



Non-criminal incident – bottom 2 





Dealing with Racism in Schools 

  • SRTRC (2011) say…
  • some teacher struggle to do this as they are unaware of how to do this 
  • reporting criminal offences was seen as unintentional 
  • alternative measures and opinions regarding the definition and classification of levels of racism

Racism incident is… 

any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.’

When a racism incident is seen the following should be done…

  • Record the incident using forms which should be within the educational setting – linking to policies and procedures. 
  • the reporting forms are sent to the local authority and collated 


All schools will be different in the policies and approaches when dealing and teaching race, ethnicity. Become knowledgeable of these procedures so if incidents occur you are aware of what is to be done. 

Everyday Practice:

  • Challenge the discriminatory attitudes or behaviour, rather than the person.
  • Expect tension and conflict and learn to manage it
  • Be aware of your own attitudes, stereotypes and expectations
  • Actively listen to and learn from others’ experiences
  • Use language and behaviour that is non-biased and inclusive
  • Provide accurate information to challenge stereotypes and biases
  • Acknowledge diversity and avoid stereotypical thinking
  • Be aware of your own hesitancies – be awarre of what makes you feel uncomfortable and challenge this 
  • Project a feeling of understanding, respect and support
  • Establish standards of responsibility and behaviour working collectively with others


I have learnt through this session and lecture how to deal with racism in a school setting and how there are many levels of racism as well as areas which influence people views.

I believe, from reflection, that children of a young age may be influenced through external sources or their environment regarding behaviour and racism. A link to this would be Bandura and Bobo Doll experiment and theory, this being where children behave in a particular way as they see others, adults, acting in this way and they deem to believe this is appropriate. Therefore, if a child experiences racism they may not have the knowledge or understanding to classify if this is correct or not.

Lander and Knowles (2015) indicate from research that children should be taught throughout the curriculum the impact and information regarding racism, diversity and stereotypes. I also believe this is beneficial so children can then identify what their beliefs are. However, the educator who leads these sessions needs to ensure it is an unbiased session and they acknowledge their opinions beforehand so they can then be dealt with accordingly.

Following this I would like to develop my practice in relation to race and ethnicity by looking at appropriate policies in my next setting. This is because I believe children should have an equal knowledge about this area to form their own opinion and also acknowledge their own race.  





Inclusion links to Teacher Standard 5 and 2.

I feel that this image best explains Inclusion and ensuring it is implemented in the schools setting.


Therefore, this shows me that inclusion is ensuring all children are treated the same despite their individual needs/appearance/abilities.

When in a school setting it is important to ensure children are treated the same and inclusion is occurring. Children in schools settings may have barriers to learning and/or special educational needs. Inclusion should still be carried out and present if children have SEN and this is where the SEN Code of practice 2014 comes into act and also other Acts such as the Equalities Act 2010.

In relation to Inclusion when on Professional Practice 1A I had a child in my class who had Autism. He would not like to be involved in sessions that included drama or activities where he could be the centre of attention. Therefore, when planning sessions that involved these types of activities I ensured that he had roles which did not draw attention to him however he would still learn from the experience.

This supported me in practising inclusion when planning sessions and adapting them to children’s individual needs. In addition to this all sessions are inclusive to the children as when assessing the children’s learning, I would plan the following session to the children’s needs and learning. Additionally, I would like to continue to practice this area as it is a vital aspect of teaching.






Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are seen on a day to day basis by teachers and pupils. They link with Teachers Standard; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. 

Lesson objectives give the children and teachers a direction to what is wanted to be learnt by the end of the session and sets a focal point for the lesson. 

The following terms are goof for learning and assessing.

  • WILF – What I’m looking for
  • WIEFE – What I expect from everyone 
  • TSB – To be successful 
  • WWTK – We want to know 
  • WALT – We are learning to 
  • LI – Learning Intentions 
  • WALA – We are learning about 
  • WAGOLL – What a good one looks like 
  • WABOLL – What a bad one looks like 

When I was on professional practice 1 A I used WAGOLL and WABOLL and i found that it really supports children’s learning. I used it in an English session and I modelled with the help of the class changing a written passage which was a WABOLL to a WAGOLL. I discovered that this helped children understand what is wanted from them and also supports children capturewho are not as confident. I will be using this technique again. 

Lesson Objectives can be given at the end of session as an assessment criteria. This will also keep the children engaged and offer suspense to the lesson for the children. I have not yet put this theory into practice but I would like to try this with a session. 


It is important to ensure LO’s are not over complicated and are simple. This is because if children don’t understand the lesson objectives and they seem a lot then this may demotivate them from the beginning of the session. 

When writing LO’s always start with what children already know then what you want them to learn in the next session. Ensure LO’s are: creative, inspiring, inspire the children, outside the box, and imaginative. 

It is important to support children’s higher order thinking skills (Blooms Taxonomy), ensuring they achieve to their best ability.  This can be done in lesson objectives because the teacher could; include children in writing the lesson objectives, quiz children using lesson objectives or using pictures as lesson objective. These ideas will activate children’s higher order thinking skills because they will have to create, evaluate, analyse and understand the ideas they have learnt to discover the lesson objectives. 

I would like to use these skills when next teaching if possible as I feel it will engage the children in the session more and also inspire the children to think about what they have learnt.download

When writing lesson objectives on PP1A I found it difficult to pin-point the specific learning intentions at the beginning however nearer the end of the phase it become easier. In addition I would like to develop further in this area. I found that it is important to make lesson objectives engaging because when children enter a classroom this is what they read first. Therefore, if children are not engaged then they may not want to participate in the session. 


Approaches to Learning 

TASC Wheel 

This approach meets teacher standard 4 and 5. This approach is based on Vygotskies social learning theory (1978) and also Strenburg thinking skills and metacognition (1985).

  • hinking
  • ctively  (in a)
  • ocial
  • ontext

This approach is giving children the opportunity to use their thinking skills more, also that we can learn best from our failures and things do not always gone right first time. Learn from our mistakes  – Belle Wallace. 

What does TASC mean?

  • T – everyone can improve their thinking
  • A- we are best when we are actively involved in our learning
  • S – the ideas we think about can be shared socially
  • C – understand that context helps to know why and what we are learning


Gather and organise
– consider the best way you can collar your ideas

Identify -think about the most important information and develop a list

Generate – record all their ideas

Decide and implement – choose how you are going to do it

Evaluate – judgements based on success criteria

Communicate – share your presentation

Learn from experience – lessons and skills to take forward

The wheel usually starts at “gather and organise” but it could also start at evaluate if the children are thinking about something they have recently done/ worked on. 

To understand this approach we had a task of using the wheel to promote the opening of a new zoo. From doing this I have understood more that the children have control over what they are thinking also it is a very social activity. 

Impacts of this approach is it may not be as beneficial to children who have little presentation skills. This can be overcome by teachers giving children particular jobs and grouping the children based on their needs.

This approach supports children to bridge the gap in the zone of proximal development  where children independtly learn. It also supports:

  • Ownership of learning – meeting ts2
  • It will help to stretch and expand the gifted and talented children
  • Inspire creativity
  • Cross curriculum problem solving and used in all subjects
  • Assessment for learning can be used throughout and children can assess themself
  • Can be used with all ages
  • Gives children a framework for thinking
  • Using lower and higher order thinking skills

Philosophy for children 

This approach supports children in thinking more about the community and social opportunities.

This approach was based on the theories of Vygotsky, Dewey, Socrates and Piaget. It is about the community and acting in a particular way towards this as well as questioning about a stimulus that is given by a facilitator.

Collaboration, Caringly, Collaboration and Critical are the ways in which children should approach learning and the community.

You are asked to think about this stimulus then write and categorise about your thoughts. Following this the children should question their thoughts and vote which are plausible then finally enquire their result.

The impacts of this approach are

  • Children thinking for themselves
  • Take sinks
  • Runs through out the curriculum


The curriculum must offer – spiritual, cultural, mental, physical development. Also it should support them in understanding the world, as well as giving children opportunities to support children in later life. This can be supported in LOtC because children may not have opportunities outside of school therefore, if teachers can implement these experiences then his will support their development.

The cultural white paper offers reasons and benefits of children learning about culture.

Learning outside the classroom could support children in:

  • learning about culture
  • Identifying their identity
  • social skills
  • develop working as a team
  • children’s  wellbeing and health
  • academic development.

Some issues about LOtC include that teachers do not evaluate experiences before offering them to the children, therefore they may not be beneficial. This links to planning of learning experiences and linking them to the curriculum and objectives. Teachers should bring their skills to the visit/experience and have dialogue with the children about this. As well as this when LOtC, assessment of the children’s learning can be forgotten or not carried our effectively, therefore the teacher can not identify what the children have learn from the experience.

No experience is better than a poor quality experience

I agree with his statement because if children have a poor experience they may then start to create negative thoughts about this area. For example if children do not enjoy or learn from an art gallery visit then in the the future they may associate art galleries with negative opinions due to this experience. The experiences have to be motivational and interesting to engage the children so they can learn to their full potential.


Nature – What you are born with/ genetic code/ DNA

Nurture – The environment around you/ parenting/ friendships/ experiences

Nature/Nurture debate is an ongoing debate which enquires how children learn and their characteristics that define them. They both have an impact on children and some state that it is both that have an equal affect on children.

The environment and relationships can affect children who may be in your presence in a school, for example the peers children engage with in the classroom could effect their learning.

Even siblings/twins are not the same, even if their DNA is very similar they will not be the same person because different experiences occur to an individual.


This is theories that will support the nature/nurture debate and what view they are more sided for.

Different experiences can be impacted by nature or nurture for example, sharing toys could be influences by nurture.

PILES can be affected by nature and nurture, for example a child may be emotional due to their parents characteristics (nature) whoever this may be because their friends are like that (nurture).

Nurture impact – children will only learn in a safe environment

I agree with this because if children do not feel safe in the environment they are in they may not feel challenged or safe to participate in the learning. Fr example they may not take risks or challenge themselves. 

Nature/Nurture supports me in ensuring the environment safe, relationships are secure and trustworthy, knowing about children’s home life, peer relationships are secure – no bullying. Also safeguarding children and ensuring their out of school time is safe and secure. As well as this it is important that the class teacher needs to know the children and their families. Listening to your pupils is important and learning about the children and being open to their learning.

To support children it is important to observe the children and interact with them and play close attention to their learning and interests.


In relation to nature/nurture I feel that it is important to learn what children like and what their genetics are and up bring is like (nature) then  to ensure the environment they are in is secure and safe so they can feel confident to learn (nurture).


Motivating Children

There are many ways to motivate children when teaching them. They could include: practical activities, being an enthusiastic teacher as well as acknowledging the pupils and also showing interest in their work and what they enjoy.

When motivating children a good technique is to let the children set their own goals. This is because it will offer them ownership which may motivate them to follow them m
ore. As motivationwell as this, if children create their own rules and goals they may be more achievable for the children.

There are two different types of motivation, extrinsic – motivated to do well for a secondary source EG the teacher, or intrinsic – motivated to do well for themselves. When working with children it is more vital for them to be intrinsically motivated and this is what schools and teachers will strive for. This is because the children will then take responsibility for their actions, work and learning, this them meeting teacher standard 2.

It is important that teachers show they are enthusiastic about learning because if their attitude shows otherwise this will affect the children.

As teachers we want our children to have a growth mindset where the want to achieve more and know their talents and abilities. Where as some children may have a fixed mindset which means they believe they cant develop or learn anymoredont-give-up.

Therefore, if children have a fixed mindset it is important that the teacher motivates that child in ways that will meet their needs, this will work well if the child is extrinsically motivated.

Triggers that could motiv
ate children are: imagination, curiosity, relevance, relationships, competence, choice, fun or challenge. When on professional practice I identified that the class I was working with, were motivated by fun activities as well as curiosity. Therefore, when planning lessons I ensured they were as fun and interactive as possible to support the childrnen’s need and learning.


Lesson Planning

When planning teachers have to take a lot into consideration, the main one being their pupils. Teachers will have to take;  the school’s ethos, national curriculum, planning policies, long term plans, medium term plans and previous individual lesson plans. 

Lesson Planning must haves:

  • time management
  • resources
  • additional adults
  • prior knowledge
  • lesson objective
  • differentiation

When planning it is also important to indicate how assessment will take place. Assessment criteria is the evidence that will be gathered to identify if the children have met the lesson objective. Assessment intentions is what I, as the teacher will do to gather the information for example, formative assessment techniques, discussing with the additional adults. 

Lesson Planning links to Teacher Standard 4 because this standard is about planning and teaching structured lessons for the children. In addition to this, planning relates to teaching standard 5. 

Teaching Standard 5. Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. 

Therefore, lesson planning links to this standard because when teachings are planning they will need to take their pupils needs and strengths into consideration to ensure they can learn to their best ability. 

When on professional practice phase 1A I had the opportunity to teach alongside other trainees and also independently. When teaching the children, we had to plan as a team or work together to plan individual lessons. When teaching independently we planned on out own, however, we supported one another and linked our sessions. Evidence of this planning can be seen in the placement file 2. 

Formative assessment

Formative assessment is a small insight of children’s learning. Teachers will have a  toolkit of strategies to support in this style of assessing. Examples of formative assessment are: thumbs up, smiley faces, colour coded cards, traffic light systems, questioning. 

Formative assessment supports and measures learning. Summative assessment usually takes place at the end of terms or the academic year to show a final grade. Both forms of assessment support teachers in reflecting and also planning future lessons.image

Assessment should be used regularly in the classroom. Children can assess their own work or peer assess so they can then take ownership of their work which then supports teachers standard 2. When assessing it is important to give children feedback so they can then understand their work and learning more. 

Key factors of formative assessment;

  • offers children feedback
  • teachers can adjust their teaching in relation to the results of assessment 
  • supports meeting the needs of children for example supporting them in knowing how to improve 
  • impacts motivation and self esteem – then impacts learning 
  • Children have an active involvement in their own work 

Through assessment teachers can gather information about children’s learning as well as encouraging them to review their own work. Assessment for learning should have a focus when teaching children. 

The different between formative Assesment and summation assessment is that formative assessment is carried out on a day to day basis, were as summation assessment is done at the end of terms or models. Summative assessment will gather a summary of what children have learnt during a a module or term. 

I feel that formative assessment is an useful skill that supports both the teacher and the pupils. End of module/term tests may cause discomfort or panic in children which may then impact their results. Consequently I feel that formative assessment can be more beneficial as it may give a clearer view on the children’s learning. 


When I was on professional practice I used formative assessment. The strategies I used varied from traffic light systems and also 2 stars and a target. As well as this I carried out peer assessment within sessions so the children could take responsibility for their peers work as well as their own. 

When on practice I also observed the techniques the teacher used. He used: thumbs up, observation, discussion, peer/self assessment and questionnaires during plenaries. I feel that this teacher used discussion as a main assessment strategy and this benefited the children and also reflecting on his pedagogy. 


*this information is taken from observation and session notes and independent study readings : inside the black box and beyond the black box (on BB)*