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These findings are supported by a study conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (Ainley et al 1998) for the National Report on Schooling in Australia. Older children tended to have stronger negative attitudes towards Aboriginal children than younger ones. Evidence also suggests that students who are disaffected with school are less likely to attend school regularly and are likely to drop out of school earlier than other groups of students. It's easy to use racist terms without meaning to. To do this, Professor Bodkins-Andrews said there must be a strong Indigenous presence within the school, not only through meaningful community partnerships, but through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers, administration staff, and senior management itself. [/learn_more][learn_more caption=”The effects of racism in schools “]. Effects of racism on the socio-emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Australian children. The program’s lead researcher Associate Professor Naomi Priest, from The Australian National University (ANU), said a new analysis of the program shows students and teachers felt it raised teacher confidence to discuss and address racism, and increased students’ awareness of racism. negative comments about their families and their behaviours on the basis of race. Of the nearly seven thousand responses received from the students, nearly half mentioned values relating to cultural diversity and many also used critical concepts such as racism, prejudice, stereotypes, ignorance, war and the ‘race debate’ and referred to multiculturalism, citizenship and rights. Not once during my twelve years of formal schooling did any of my teachers or anyone else in the school system affirm my Aboriginality. A new anti-racism program aimed at 10-12-year-olds is showing positive results. Copyright @ Australian Government, NSW Department of Education 2000-2020. "We must confront it, name it and address it. The girls interviewed for the study believed that the maintenance of their culture and language was very important although the study also showed that the girls saw some of their traditions and values changing as their cultures evolved in response to a new place and a new time. School is the predominant location for racism to occur among children, with the majority of perpetrators being other students (Centre for Multicultural Youth 2014.) Several Australian students have tried to corner me during recess. "Our future is in the hands of our young people and as a nation we have an ethical and moral obligation to create a better future for all despite race, religion, sexual orientation and gender," she said. Racism in Australia traces both historical and contemporary racist community attitudes, as well as political non-compliance and governmental negligence on United Nations human rights standard and incidents in Australia. In a study of secondary teachers’ perspectives on multiculturalism and multicultural education in a Victorian rural town (O’Shannessy 1996), one teacher described the difficulties experienced teaching in a racist environment: When I first started teaching here six years ago, I used to go home in tears nearly every night because of the kids’ racist taunts. “Discourses about racism are too often limited to micro-aggressions, such as name-calling, that frame racism in some individualistic-singular-point-in-time behaviour that is reduced to debates about 'intent', rather than the active perpetuation of a system built on racism itself”. If I retain it, I’m considered less than a human being here. 60% of surveyed school students in NSW and Victoria in 2019 said they had witnessed racism. As a result, some teachers carry with them stereotyped views of what students can achieve or how they are likely to behave according to their culture or ethnicity. Further examples of the importance of culture for young people are provided in a Victorian study on education for girls from language backgrounds other than English (Ministerial Advisory Committee on Multicultural and Migrant Education 1986). It seems that those who do not themselves experience racism either do not recognise it or dismiss it as trivial and do not see its potential for damage. Many accounts show that violence often occurs in retaliation to racist taunts, when the victims fight back against their tormentors. However, the same increase in tolerance with age was not demonstrated in attitudes towards Aboriginal children. The kinds of racism they experienced from teachers included: In a study of Asian girls’ experiences in high school (Matthews 1996), one girl described an incident where a teacher allowed racist assumptions to be openly discussed and promoted by students in the classroom: And then she started saying stuff about how Asians were taking over Australia and we took all their jobs, and every…all the other girls started saying how we were all bad and everything like that. At high school the other kids identify me as a ‘bloody Turk’, ‘Gaddafi’, or ‘Arab, crazy Arab’. She said this reality for some is "the difference between life and death". Developing a school culture which values cultural diversity is important for ensuring healthy relationships and an environment conducive to learning. You need to be educated’. Evidence also indicates that teachers and other school staff, particularly those who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or from language backgrounds other than English, experience racism in schools. Anderson said it is never too late to listen and learn from those who experience racial attacks, and work with communities to build a "collaborative and restorative model" to eradicate racialism. being made to feel personally guilty for getting extra money and special benefits. Curriculum and resources need to reflect the diversity of the school and of Australian society in order to ensure that all students can feel they belong. Male caller (13) is constantly bullied about his Aboriginal background. Dr Cover believes history classes should include civics lessons and show stories of young people who have spearheaded significant changes in civil rights. The Educator speaks to Tina King, president-elect of the Australian Principals Federation, A new OECD analysis offers some key insights for school leaders, Experts are now predicting a 'second epidemic' as the effects of COVID-19 linger, The Educator Mental Health for Schools Masterclass, a profound affect on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, improve Indigenous Australians’ learning, and life, outcomes, aimed at closing the gap in Indigenous health, education and employment, revealing an alarming trend of racism in schools, Counter intolerance program expands after new funding, Study finds one-third of students in years five to nine have experienced racism, Principals must demonstrate 'diversity leadership', 2021 'an opportunity for principals to recalibrate'. Closing the Gap report card Not on track It found that nearly a third of NSW and Victoria students from non-Anglo or European backgrounds in years five to nine have experienced racial discrimination. Terry Ngarritjan-Kessaris, 1995. She also described the failure of the school executive to appropriately deal with racist incidents: While he (the student) was standing outside, the Principal happened to come along. Dr Janice Scott Cover is proud to be a black, female leader in the world of education with four decades of experience a teacher, mentor, and assistant superintendent to the Palm Beach County School District – one of America’s largest. The role of the school is crucial in developing students’ values and understandings of their world. More than half of Indigenous Australians experienced racism not only in the workplace but at school, university, shops and restaurants. School community relations will be damaged if a school is perceived to be racist or to exclude the participation of groups from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The teacher was unaware of these differences in expectations and interpreted the Aboriginal students’ behaviour as being disobedient or uncooperative or lacking in ability. “The only way to shift a mindset is for that mind to be open to another perspective, another lens, another truth,” he said. If I could make a difference I’d put a stop to racial discrimination. The role of the school in supporting these students in developing a sense of identity is very important. This isn’t an uncommon incident. "We also conducted qualitative interviews and focus groups with teachers and students who were part of the program so that we could understand their experiences and views about the program and how they saw the program impacts". Aboriginal families, on the other hand, expected their children to be able to make their own decisions and did not require the same level of obedience or attendance to verbal instructions from adults. As a result, the Aboriginal students tended to be more independent in the classroom and less attentive to the teacher than non-Aboriginal students. The lack of cultural understanding on the part of teachers was further demonstrated in a study comparing the learning experiences and classroom interactions of urban Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children who were beginning school (Malin 1997). Professor Bodkins-Andrews said schools must commit to acknowledging racism and “fighting it in all its insidious diversities within and outside school itself”. Can we live together and not feel fear of attack or persecution due to our difference? The harassment directed at students was mainly carried out by other students but it was also reported that sometimes teachers either failed to intervene appropriately in situations of racist harassment, or instigated the harassment by inappropriately dealing with classroom discussions. Indeed, just over two decades ago Kalantzis (1985, p. 7) suggested that ‘‘there is a real fear and reluctance’’ to address issues of racism within Australian schools. The world is filled with different colours and shades, but underneath the frail cloak of colour is a person, a person like you and me, someone who feels and loves and cares. Charles Darwin University . It was found that all the parents in the study said that their children suffered from overt forms of racism. "How can we be viewed as an educated society if we are not educated? It goes against important principles of our education system, such as giving all students equal opportunities to learn … If schools do not investigate the cause of the violent behaviour, the result may be that the students who were being harassed in the first place can end up being more severely punished than the racist bullies. Education depends on the regular sustained attendance of each student and their ability to participate effectively in the classroom. [7] More than half of both primary and secondary teachers surveyed reported that they placed a major emphasis in their teaching on non-sexist, non-racist understandings. Professor Priest said the program also supports teachers and school leadership to develop their knowledge and skills in this area, and in having conversations about these issues with children in a safe and developmentally appropriate way. Australian capitalists have always benefited from underpaying Aboriginal labour. BA of Aboriginal Affairs Administration (Honours) BA of Education . Schools which fail to do so, fail their communities and particularly those students most in need of support. It was claimed that the principal failed to take any action to protect the students although he admitted that many children in his school were the victims of racist abuse and assault. "Our current Prime Minister stated that there was never any slavery in Australia yet evidence proves otherwise". a marked difference existed between the sexes on how to overcome racism. The girls’ approach to addressing racist problems was to seek non-violent solutions, whereas most boys recommended that racist problems be solved through physical force and aggressive actions. Students who experience racism talk of having reduced levels of self-confidence and feelings of insecurity or failure. Our responsibility is to help Australia’s First People be at the centre of Australian political life on their own terms.” “If we are to truly believe in the practice of reconciliation, we need to acknowledge that the context we’ve inherited, of institutional racism and individual ignorance, must be challenged if we are to truly make amends and reconcile,” says Professor Jennifer … "A lot of Aboriginal people come from a deficit base within school, so we're told we're dumb, we're stupid — I was a classic example of that. "Our school leaders build the leaders of the future by investing in programs and approaches that connect our young people to each other where we can empathise with hardships and wrongs with a moral and ethical purpose to improve life circumstances free of racism," she said. The 12th Closing the Gap report, released in February, revealed that Indigenous students' education targets, especially in the areas of school attendance and literacy and numeracy, are veering off track. 40% of Aboriginal and from ethnic minority backgrounds said they'd been racially discriminated against by their peers. (p 223). Ensuring that it is also a tolerant nation means that we have to help future generations in our schools view racism as an individual as well as a collective responsibility. According to experts, the stagnation in the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students runs much deeper than poor grades and engagement. Racism exists at all levels of Australian society but Australians are in denial. Teachers may have little knowledge or understanding of the home lives and culture of students whose cultures and backgrounds differ from theirs. The students involved have been asked to stop, have been suspended and their parents consulted. In a study of factors that influence the development of racist attitudes in children (Black-Gutman and Hickson 1996), it was found that older children showed greater tolerance to Asian-Australians than younger children. In Brennan‘s study, the Western Australian Aboriginal Education Consultative Group reported that there was a popular misconception amongst non-Aboriginal people that Aboriginal people were either completely assimilated into non-Aboriginal culture or had maintained a traditional lifestyle and forfeited their right to participate in mainstream society. The research shows that many children still experience racism in Australian schools, but that children who were born in non-English-speaking countries — and who have parents born in non-English-speaking countries — are much more likely to experience racism at school. The way children in Australia construct their ideas of racial difference and how these ideas are socially organised through the practices of pedagogy and curriculum was investigated in research undertaken in two primary and two secondary schools in Victoria (Rizvi 1993). The importance of culture and identity for a sense of belonging is illustrated in one woman’s recollections (Ngarritjan-Kessaris 1995) of her growing up as an Aboriginal child at school: School processes and attitudes of teachers and students that purvey middle class western values as ‘right’ in all contexts, are explicitly and implicitly disparaging of Aboriginal people. Students who have been subject to racism are frequently unable to concentrate in class and may be unwilling to participate or take risks in learning for fear of retribution or ridicule if they make a mistake. I have to try and adapt. Looking ahead: Principals must lead by example with a “no excuses policy". "Many teachers, families and community agencies have been telling us and our colleagues that there is a key gap in resources that specifically address issues of race and racism," she said. : The importance of culture, language and identity : The extent of racism in Australian schools : References : Glossary. Limited knowledge of legislation, fear or unwillingness on the part of children to report racist incidents or reluctance by parents to pursue legal redress are factors that may prevent the bringing of formal complaints. On the other hand, they are exposed to images of Aboriginal Australians and other minority groups that portray those groups as objects of paternalistic concern or as aliens whose presence threatens the cultural identity and economic well being of the majority community. (p 159). [/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Attitudes of students”]. Racism is also manifested indirectly, in the form of prejudiced attitudes, lack of recognition of cultural diversity and culturally biased practices. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, [7] A statement formulated at a meeting of Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers for Education in Hobart in 1989. School of Education . One of the girls made the point that there was this Asian family that lived near them, and when they first moved in they were poor and after a while they were rich, she was saying how everybody was taking their jobs and it is not fair that we get everything better than they do, and that we are a lot richer, and they don’t think…understand. Incidents of racist violence that are inappropriately dealt with will only confirm the perceptions of some students and their parents that schools are racist institutions. It is never acceptable". Instead I grew up feeling ashamed of my Aboriginal heritage and I felt pressured to stress that I was only part Aboriginal. Children growing up in Australia are exposed to contradictory images of ‘race’ relations. S. Zelinka, ‘Racism and one response’, in. They steal my things, put smoke(s) in my bag and make trouble for me with parents and teachers, abuse me for something I didn’t do and also quarrel with me over silly things. Parents and members from those communities may be unwilling to support school activities and unlikely to have confidence in the schooling system. In a racist learning environment, this balance is disrupted and educational outcomes are limited as a result. Racism in school: disproportionately felt by non-Anglo students. encouraging students from particular groups to leave school because teachers believe they have little hope of success in schooling, based on a stereotyped view of that group. “This shows that education matters and educators must intentionally provide classroom opportunities for free expression,” she said. She did not ask us any questions…but she mainly asked Australians. The Speak Out Against Racism survey of 4,600 primary and secondary students at schools with higher indigenous and migrant populations were led by researchers from the Australian National … The danger is that when racist attitudes and behaviours are permitted to go unchecked in a school, a climate develops which sees these actions as normal and so allows racism to become entrenched. Student response, quoted in Victorian Multicultural Commission,Postcard Campaign, Teacher’s Information Kit 1997, Being Australian means that I can go to school with a very big mixture of different cultures around me. What would you do? Our research can be of use to Australian schools and school systems as they help create a genuinely anti-racist, multicultural nation. This website aims to tackle racism in schools in Australia, through providing teachers, school students, parents and governors with games, research and lesson ideas that explore the causes and effects of racism for practical use in the classroom. Racism plays a major role in poor education outcomes for Aboriginal children, including school attendance and grades, new research shows. Racism has been linked to diminished morale, lower productivity and an increase in the incidence of stress and absenteeism. They were more likely to help other students, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, took longer to complete work and were shy to speak up in class in case they made a mistake. In the student questionnaire, seventy-one percent of Year 5 students and sixty-five percent of Year 10 students indicated that making sure that people of all races are treated equally was extremely important to them. I know it’s racist because they told me I should go back home and that they don’t need black strangers in their country. Mr Adam Paul Heaton . Participants reported entrenched discrimination in day-to-day life, specifically in the workforce, schools … The information revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students from language backgrounds other than English were much more likely to experience bullying at school than other students. : The importance of culture, language and identity : The extent of racism in Australian schools : References : Glossary, There are no words to describe how racism feels. Racism has no place in Australian schools. These expectations can influence the teachers’ behaviours and teaching styles. They call me names and won’t let me join their group. A 2006 article from The Age newspaper has been getting a lot of attention among Indigenous circles recently. Together, the lower participation rates, behavioural problems and feelings of alienation that result from the presence of racism in schools impact on educational outcomes. 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The attitudes of students ” ] show stories of young people who have spearheaded significant changes in Rights... And clear communication of expectations is critical ” who have spearheaded significant changes in Rights... Understanding and narrow the educational experience of all students from those communities may be unwilling to support school activities unlikely. Is more likely to display negative attitudes towards Aboriginal children, including attendance.

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