‘Race’ Matters: Addressing racialised inequalities in education in a context of ‘super-diversity’
Britain and other parts of Europe are facing immense social change as a result of globalisation and migration. Migration is no longer primarily based on traditional former colonial links and thus the power relationships between migrant communities and host communities has changed; additionally the new migrants present complex demographic differences, referred to as ‘superdiversity’ (Vertovec 2006). Given this scenario, addressing issues of ‘race’ and ethnicity in education becomes even more important. Throughout the past decade in Britain ‘race’ as a policy issue has almost completely disappeared from the policy agenda, which in turn has impacted on teacher training and the school curriculum. This has resulted in teachers being poorly prepared for engaging with racially and ethnically diverse classrooms and the school communities. Likewise for the children, they are inadequately prepared to engage fully and positively with life in a multi-ethnic society particularly when faced with negative and racist sentiments expressed in the media or even in problematic policies around immigration, for example. In addition, there are deep concerns about the academic underachievement of children from certain Black and Minority Ethnic groups. These are some of the issues I will discuss in my lecture.