How Black and Working Class Children Are Deprived of Basic Education in Canada
2014, X, 180 p.
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Activist “organic intellectuals” need to join parents to make school educate all children fairly?
This book is the culmination of twenty-four years of research. It explores the thematic intersections of race, class, immigration, and the potential of building student-centered classrooms. Of course, the building of a truly student-centered is itself a slow and contested process. Over the years, progressive changes towards more inclusive education made by some governments were dismantled by others, and have left disadvantaged children where they were before the study was launched. In the meantime, the system has perfected the process of streaming minority children to dead-end courses that betray the social and economic mobility advertised to them. This book examines the moments and positions of educational betrayal in which racialized and working class students disproportionately find themselves. For many, at that point the only option is to drop out of school and engage in the drug trade or other lifestyles that put them at further risk.
This is a longitudinal study of a kind with respect to reform and changes retained in education. It started with eight months observation of a split level grade five and six classroom in September 1986. That was instrumental in identifying the uphill battle that black, working class and new immigrant children and their parents were facing to secure the education they deserved. Through continued reviews, observation and follow up interviews change or lack of it was traced. The results call for urgent overhaul of the way education is provided to all children. The book ends with suggestions to effect change.
Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I Introduction; Introduction; Goals and Objectives of the Study; Overview of the Book; Definition of Terms; A Review of the Literature; Teacher-Centred Education Defined; Student-Centred Education Defined; From Passive Resistance to ‘Fading Out’; My Inclusive Education Framework; Student Participation in the Development of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning; Training and the Recognition of Teachers as Intellectual Workers; Research Methodology; Research Setting; Gaining Access to the Classroom; About the Participants in the Study; Why a Qualitative Study?; Ethical Awareness; Data Collection; Data Analysis; Part II Data Analysis; Focus on the Curriculum; One Day in the Life of the Classroom; Treatment of the Critical Issues of Race, Class, and Gender in the Curriculum; Indoctrination through Ritualistic Episodes; Summary; The Teacher-Centred vs. Student-Centred Continuum; Learning Activities and the Perceived Role of the Teacher; The Limitations of a Split-Level Classroom; Communication and Organization in the Gym and Schoolyard; Passive Resistance: Forms of Student Contestation; Summary; Parent Involvement in Education: Vertical Mosaic in Action; The Struggle of a Black Mother against the School System; A Cry for Help Met by Manufactured Disabilities; History Continues to Repeat Itself: The Rush to Document False Disabilities and Record Them in the OSR; Other Parents’ Involvement; Highly-Managed Parent Involvement at the School Level; Summary; Myth vs. Reality in Public Education; A School within a School: Separate, But Not Equal; Distribution of Educational Opportunities in a Multicultural Context; A New Breed of Failing African-Canadian Students; From Passive Resistance to ‘Fading Out’ or Fighting Back; White Students Identify Reasons Why They Dropped Out of School; Summary; A Historical Perspective; Race-Based Statistics on Achievement and Streaming; On Racial and Gender Composition of Staff; School Drop-out Rate from 1987 to 2010; Progress – or Lack of it – Towards Inclusive Education; Summary; Part III Conclusion; Findings and Recommendations; Forge a Broad-Based Coalition to Reform Education; Free Employment Equity Policy from the Cycle of White Men’s Wrath; Multicentric Education: It Will Take More Than Re-arranging the Desks; Aim Reform to Address the Needs of Failing Students; Make Race and Class-Based Statistics Readily Available to the Public; Appendices; References.