This study note summarises a key study relating to ethnicity and education, by Professor Heidi Safia Mirza.
What does this explain?
Explains the impact of teacher-pupil interactions, particularly on non-white ethnic groups in the education system and how these interactions can shape pupils’ achievements and identities. Mirza found that teachers had limited impact on the self-esteem of young black girls, but did suggest that teachers’ attitudes negatively impacted on career aspirations.
How is this achieved?
Pupils in the research would avoid asking for assistance from those teachers typified as overt racists and react with hostility to the behaviours of teachers and staff that displayed those behaviours.
What evidence is there to support this?
Mac an Ghail (1988) found the existence of negative teacher expectations of non-white pupils, whilst Fuller (1984) also noted the negative interactions between teachers and black-Caribbean girls.
How might we evaluate this idea?
Reactions to teacher racism are more likely to result in exclusion for black-Caribbean boys. Girls are more likely to retain the values of education but reject specific teachers that show hostility towards them.
Key term: teacher typology
The way in which Mirza categorised the attitudes of teachers to black pupils in her observations
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