Publication Year: 2007
Based on the authors' research and practical experience, this book contains proven strategies for raising the academic attainment of every learner, especially students from culturally diverse backgrounds.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
To our families and friends
© 2007 Marie Parker-Jenkins, Des Hewitt, Simon Brownhill and Tania Sanders
First published 2007
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Glossary of Terms[Page vii]
- ‘Asian’ – used generically to include people of South East Asian heritage, for example Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Kashmiri.
- asylum seeker – someone who has crossed an international border and is seeking safety or protection in another country. This involves awaiting a government decision as to whether they can remain.
- attainment – the personal achievement of pupils and their acquisition of knowledge as measured in an academic environment and evidenced by performance in formal tests, such as the Statutory Test Framework and GCSE (QCA 1999).
- bilingual student – a student who has access to, or needs to use, two or more languages at home and school. It does not imply fluency in the languages and includes students who are beginning to learn English (Rutter 2001).
- Black – a term used increasingly since the 1970s to refer to people of African, Caribbean, mixed/race or dual heritage, and those of South Asian descent.
- class – social class refers to the socio-economic position of people in society, their financial situation and their access to public services.
- community – a group of people with shared values, ethnic, religious and/or linguistic background.
- culture – ideas, techniques and habits which are passed on by one generation to another.
- cultural racism – dislike or discrimination against someone on the basis of their culture.
- development – in learning this can be conceived as the child's adaptation to his or her environment. Children develop physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially, and some would argue that children also develop at a moral or spiritual level.
- dual heritage – the possession of two cultural backgrounds.
- EMAG – Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant
- English as an Additional Language – pupils who speak English as an additional language (EAL).
- ethnicity – relates to a person's place of birth or historical place of origin, symbolized by visible signifiers such as colour, dress, lifestyle or birthplace allegiance.
- Eurocentric – placing White Europeans and/or Americans as the norm and the sole contributors to such things as scientific discovery.
- [Page viii]Every Child Matters – a new government approach (DfES 2006c) to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19. Organizations that provide services to children are required to work together in terms of policies and strategies to improve outcomes for children.
- gender – refers to the social meaning of what it is to be male or female rather than biological characteristics.
- Gypsy – a term originating in Egypt which refers to a range of different ethnic and cultural groups who live a nomadic lifestyle.
- Islamophobia – hostility towards Islam and fear and/or dislike of Muslims.
- Local Authority (LA) – local authority, formerly known as LEA (Local Education Authority), legally responsible for the management of public affairs at a local level.
- madrassah – religious or mosque school.
- mentoring – to guide, support and give advice.
- minority ethnic group – people who are identifiably different, sometimes through language, accent, religion or dress, from the majority ethnic population.
- mixed race – refers to people who have more than one racial origin, now more commonly replaced by the term ‘dual heritage’.
- parent/carer – someone who has the legal responsibility for a child, aged 0-18. Legal responsibility varies according to case orders placed by the court and is mostly a matter of joint responsibility with the local authority.
- practitioners – teachers, trainees, teaching assistants (namely adults working in the classroom with pupils).
- racism – consists of conduct or words or practices which disadvantage or advantage people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It may be overt or subtle, and underpinned by power.
- RAISE project – funded by the Yorkshire Forward regional development agency to reduce and remove inequalities concerning the achievement of young people of Pakistani and Kashmiri heritage.
- refugee – someone who has had to leave his/her own country and who is afraid to return there owing to a fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality or membership of a social or political group.
- religious literacy – an awareness of the diversity of religious groups in society and of the importance of religion as a sense of identity.
- Roma – gypsies originating from Eastern Europe.
- Travellers – people who travel around the country for economic reasons or as a lifestyle choice.
About the Authors
There is a growing body of literature highlighting improvements in the educational attainment of Black and minority ethnic pupils in compulsory education. However, it is clear that gaps in attainment levels between Black and minority ethnic pupils and others remain. At the same time, a raft of government initiatives has been created to specifically address this situation. Current government proposals are in the shape of the Education and Inspection Act 2006. According to the Department for Education and Skills, the overarching aim of this legislation is to ensure that ‘every child in every in school in every community gets the education they need to enable them to fulfil their potential’.
At a time when only one third of newly qualified teachers in the UK report that they feel prepared to meet the needs of pupils from Black and minority ethnic communities, it would seem that teachers and schools also need support in their work with pupils from culturally diverse backgrounds.
This book is a valuable addition to the literature describing how practical school and classroom initiatives can assist Black and minority ethnic pupils raise their attainment. The focus on a variety of ‘culturally diverse bckgrounds’ is particularly helpful. Examples are drawn from both primary and secondary schools. These are of particular use in assisting practitioners in schools with either new arrivals and/or established minority ethnic groups.
The main body of the book provides a series of scenarios and practical guidelines for teachers, teaching assistants and policy makers in schools who are both supporting new pupils holding refugee/asylum status and are also handling the issue of Black male underachievement and Gypsy/Traveller children. The scenarios presented and questions posed are thought provoking and valuable for both existing teachers and those working towards Qualified Teacher Status.
Many suggestions are made with regard to parental involvement and that of the wider local community. Primary teachers/trainees and secondary teachers/trainees would benefit considerably from the practical training advice contained in the book.
Nottingham Trent University[Page xii]
Our research for this book has involved discussion and correspondence with a number of people who have all played a role in providing us with invaluable information and informing our practice. We would like, therefore, to acknowledge these individuals and organizations.
For the purposes of the study we conducted research in successful schools which could be described as ‘attaining schools’, and our thanks go to:
Barry Day and the staff at Greenwood Dale Community School, Sneinton, Nottingham;
David Nichols and the staff at Littleover Community School, Derby.
In terms of local authority support we were assisted by:
Catherine Conchar, Equalities Officer, Nottingham City Local Authority;
Lorna Simpson and Maureen Rhule, Advisory Support Teachers for African Caribbean Learners, Access Service, Derby City Local Authority;
Nigel Groom, Head of the Traveller Service, Derby City Local Authority.
We also wish to acknowledge the Teacher Development Agency in supporting our earlier project work (2002–4), much of which underpins this publication.
We were very keen that a variety of practitioners gave input to our manuscript as it evolved and we wish to thank the following who acted as reviewers for the book: Maxine Bull, St Chad's Infant School; Judith Lloyd Williams, Sinfin Primary School; and Dr Musharaf Hussain, head teacher, the Islamic School, Nottingham.
Within the University of Derby, we would like to acknowledge the specialist advice of Khrissey Hartley, Widening Participation Project Leader; Lyn Senior, Post-Compulsory Education and Training Manager; Jane Keeling, Subject Advisor: Education; the research assistance of Sarah Dyke and Jane Lyon; and the secretarial assistance of Selina McCarthy.
We are also grateful to Jude Bowen at Sage Publications for on-going support of the book.
[Page xiv]The foreward was provided by Cecile Wright, Professor of Sociology, Nottingham Trent University, to whom we are particularly indebted.
While a number of people and organizations have thus been consulted over issues contained in the book, the opinions expressed are our own; likewise any errors or omissions.University of Derby,University of Derby,University of Derby,Derby City LA,
How to Use this Book[Page xv]
We have shaped the book's chapters around a number of themes or strands within social diversity. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the book and the context in which practitioners are responding to meeting the needs of learners from culturally diverse backgrounds. Chapter 2 provides discussion and strategies for responding to the changing nature of diversity in the classroom, with particular reference to the needs of refugee and asylum seeker children and induction for new arrivals.
The focus then moves in Chapter 3 to supporting bilingual learners with recognition of the importance of the home language and strategies to support learning in an additional language. Discussion in Chapter 4 refers to the issue of raising the attainment of ‘Black boys’, particularly those groups which government reports state are under-performing academically, namely Black Caribbean and Black African, and Pakistani and Bangladeshi boys (DfES 2006a). Here we highlight identity issues based on ethnicity, gender and social class, and consider multiple or mixed senses of identity.
Of all the groups under-performing academically, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in the UK are the lowest achievers, particularly at Secondary level (DfES 2006a). In Chapter 5 we look at the work being done to respond to this group of learners. Part of the success in working with minority groups is also to engage with parents and in Chapter 6 we look particularly at how we can involve and work with parents and the community as partners in supporting children's learning.
Overall, our aim is to move beyond theory and the rehearsing of social justice and underachievement debates, and to offer practitioners practical suggestions and activities to help raise the academic attainment of their pupils. Whilst much of the discussion has implication as good practice for all pupils, there is particular reference to pupils from culturally diverse backgrounds due to the under-attainment of specific minority ethnic groups. We are advocating an inclusive approach to make sure that every pupil can achieve academically, and that practitioners develop policies and structures which allow for all learner groups to have the best opportunities to succeed.[Page xvi]
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Useful Websites[Page 104]
A range of resources and information can be found at the following websites:Useful Contacts
National Asylum-Seekers Support Service
30 Wellesley Road
Refugee Legal Centre
Refugee Support Centre
47 Lambeth Road
The Resource Unit for Supplementary
and Mother Tongue Schools
15 Great St Thomas Apostle