/Teachers in Scotland will be given anti-racism learning resources

Teachers in Scotland will be given anti-racism learning resources

Teachers in Scotland will be given ‘white privilege’ lessons and ‘anti-racism learning resources’ as part of efforts to ‘decolonise’ the school curriculum.

Education Scotland has introduced the new guidance over fears that groups impacted by racism are not currently sufficiently represented in the curriculum.

Among its recommendations is a call for young children to be given books, ‘dolls and figures’ and ‘dressing up clothes’ which ‘normalise diversity’.

The details of the plans are in a new 38-page document titled ‘promoting and developing race equality and anti-racist education’. 

The plans will also see teachers invited to take a ‘white privilege test’, while an anti-racism ‘toolkit’ asks staff to consider ‘white fragility’. 

The term is defined as a white person’s defensiveness when confronted with information about racial inequality and injustice.  

Teachers in Scotland are to be given 'anti-racism learning resources' as part of efforts to 'decolonise' the school curriculum. Education Scotland has introduced the new guidance over fears that groups impacted by racism are not currently sufficiently represented in the curriculum

Teachers in Scotland are to be given 'anti-racism learning resources' as part of efforts to 'decolonise' the school curriculum. Education Scotland has introduced the new guidance over fears that groups impacted by racism are not currently sufficiently represented in the curriculum

Teachers in Scotland are to be given ‘anti-racism learning resources’ as part of efforts to ‘decolonise’ the school curriculum. Education Scotland has introduced the new guidance over fears that groups impacted by racism are not currently sufficiently represented in the curriculum 

It also promotes ‘decolonising’ the curriculum in order to challenge longstanding biases and omissions.

The guidance says: ‘(Decolonising) reflects the concern that literature, cultures, successes and histories of groups impacted by racism are not sufficiently evident in the curriculum, and that the historical role of Scotland in the colonies and in the slave trade has not been consistently explored and acknowledged within the curriculum.’

It also says: ‘In Early Level, dolls and figures, dressing up clothes, picture books and wall displays are all ways to normalise diversity.

‘As the child grows, they can see diversity for example in worked examples in mathematics, in literature and through interdisciplinary learning.

‘Portrayals of diversity should avoid stereotyping groups. 

‘Novels can portray strong friendships between characters from different ethnicities or have plots which challenge racial and other stereotypes. 

‘They can also develop the empathy of learners through sharing the lived experience of their peers.’

Among its recommendations is a call for young children to be given books, 'dolls and figures' and 'dressing up clothes' which 'normalise diversity'. The details of the plans are in a new 38-page document titled 'promoting and developing race equality and anti-racist education'

Among its recommendations is a call for young children to be given books, 'dolls and figures' and 'dressing up clothes' which 'normalise diversity'. The details of the plans are in a new 38-page document titled 'promoting and developing race equality and anti-racist education'

Among its recommendations is a call for young children to be given books, ‘dolls and figures’ and ‘dressing up clothes’ which ‘normalise diversity’. The details of the plans are in a new 38-page document titled ‘promoting and developing race equality and anti-racist education’ 

The guidance also claims that research over the past two decades has shown how racism is part of everyday life for ethnic minority pupils, even if overt examples are rare.

Its section on ‘decolonising’ the curriculum reads: ‘The term reflects the concern that literature, cultures, successes and histories of groups impacted by racism are not sufficiently evident in the curriculum and that the historical role of Scotland in the colonies and in the slave trade has not been consistently explored and acknowledged within the curriculum.

‘To understand the full complexity of decolonising, it is important to remember that racism is rooted in colonialism: when Western countries justified the enslavement of people by spreading the belief that those people were sub-human.

‘Even after colonised countries gained their freedom, the long-standing power imbalance and those beliefs of racial superiority and inferiority remained: this is known as “coloniality”. 

As well as Education Scotland’s guidance, a ‘teacher toolkit’ by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights. 

‘Groups of people were racialised as a way of justifying their oppression by colonial powers such as Britain (with Scottish people playing a key role). 

It comes after it emerged last month that the English department at the prestigious James Gillespie's high school (pictured) in Edinburgh no longer wants to teach classics like Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird because of their 'dated' approach to race

It comes after it emerged last month that the English department at the prestigious James Gillespie's high school (pictured) in Edinburgh no longer wants to teach classics like Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird because of their 'dated' approach to race

It comes after it emerged last month that the English department at the prestigious James Gillespie’s high school (pictured) in Edinburgh no longer wants to teach classics like Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird because of their ‘dated’ approach to race 

‘The impact of this persists into life today, and this is why the concept of decolonising the curriculum has come to the fore.’ 

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: ‘Racism of any form has no place in Scotland, which is why embedding anti-racism into the ethos and practice of our education system is imperative.

‘This new Education Scotland guidance builds on existing resources available and was developed in collaboration with a range of young people, education practitioners and organisations with lived experience of racism and expertise in addressing it.

‘Our schools and our curriculum seek to promote and inspire a sense of belonging, inclusion and social justice for learners, practitioners and the wider community.

‘Having an education system that provides an opportunity for anti-racism learning, debate and leadership is crucial in our attempt to eradicate racism in wider society.’

Gayle Gorman, chief executive of Education Scotland, said: ‘It is essential that all our children and young people develop an understanding of the world around them and how it has been shaped, as well as an appreciation of the contribution made by people from a range of cultures and identities.

‘Our new resource will support the profession to teach and build a society which advances equality and actively rejects and challenges racial discrimination.’

It comes after it emerged last month that the English department at the prestigious James Gillespie’s high school in Edinburgh no longer wants to teach classics like Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird because of their ‘dated’ approach to race.

Curriculum Allan Crosbie said the department wanted to scrap lessons on the texts for third year pupils.

He said the representation of people of colour in the classic books are dated, and also criticised the use of the N-word and the white saviour motif in the Harper Lee novel.

Instead, classes are likely to focus on works such as Angie Thomas’ award-winning book, The Hate U Give, written in response to the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant.    

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