Fight Racism in Each Lesson, Teachers Told

Article excerpt


SCHOOLS were urged yesterday to adopt a fresh approach to lessons as a way of teaching racial tolerance.

Every subject could be taught in a way that would tackle racism, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said.

History classes on the slave trade could include lessons on slave rebellions as a means of avoiding presenting minority groups exclusively as victims.

Stereotypes about particular groups could also be challenged, such as the claim that 'all Vikings were warlike'.

And maths teachers should put the subject in a global context by reminding pupils that the Chinese, Indians and Egyptians contributed to its development as well as the Greeks.

In science, teachers can challenge racism by using materials that reflect 'social and cultural diversity'.

Art and design classes could look at how black people are depicted in Victorian paintings and how status is shown in Islamic art.

Even physical education lessons can help by getting children to explore sports and dances from other cultures.

The guidance - the result of a project called Respect For All - is available to teachers via the QCA's website.

Although it is not statutory, teachers are likely to feel pressurised to adopt many of the more controversial suggestions.

Politicians and educationalists claim that it is simply imposing values into the curriculum.

Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'It's political correctness gone mad. Many of the subjects in the curriculum are supposed to be totally objective, such as maths and science.

' Introducing ideological aspects in these sorts of subjects must be wrong. It's basically using every subject to promote-political correctness.'

Graham Brady, Tory spokesman for schools, said: 'All good schools seek to engender a spirit of tolerance and fairness and understanding in their pupils. …