Educating Our Black Children: New Directions and Radical Approaches

Educating Our Black Children: New Directions and Radical Approaches

Educating Our Black Children: New Directions and Radical Approaches

Educating Our Black Children: New Directions and Radical Approaches


Exclusion and expulsion of black children from schools is endemic in the US and the UK. This book takes a long hard look at the two countries and uncovers what they can learn from each other in their approaches to tackling this problem. The material in the book is the result of extensive work with educators, researchers and scholars working in the area of exclusion in the US and the UK. Different approaches have met with varying degrees of success, all of which provide valuable lessons. Gathering together the issues and looking at real-world approaches, this book does not simply advance the debate -- it tables some serious solutions to serious problems.


Although it is well established that many young black pupils are being excluded from mainstream education, there has been limited material available that focuses on positive social inclusion policy and practice. This book is a welcome addition, because editor Richard Majors has assembled a distinguished 'cast' of American and British authors that focuses on solution and best practices models, rather than just theory and research. Hopes are sustained whenever there is an emphasis on solving problems rather than on charting and measuring them. Now, at long last, we are witnessing a trans-Atlantic movement of concern and commitment about the need for effective policy and practices initiatives which directly respond to these trends.

One of the great achievements of this collection of essays is that he introduces radical and creative approaches and perspective that could lay the framework for new policies and practices. Typical themes include a critical consideration and the relevance of mentoring, social justice, masculine identity, black supplementary schools and an African-centred knowledge system.

Also, one of the outstanding contributions of this collection of essays is that Dr Majors suggests as many new questions, even as he charts some new answers. Where are the studies of educationally successful young black men? How important is gender in understanding boys' classroom behaviour? Why do some Asian pupils perform better than black pupils in school? How significant are social class influences in this regard? Has the John Longborough School, with its particular religious ethos, anything to teach us, or is it merely acting as a rare magnet for both local and metropolitan London black middle-class families?

Once these essays are published it will be crucially important to disseminate their different wisdoms to white and black audiences, professional and non-professional, educationists and the whole spectrum of people workers.

I have no doubt that this book will make a major contribution to the literature and will become a foundation stone for change. Nevertheless, much bridge-building, across the various 'islands of hope', as well as between them and the other social islands in our cities, remains to be done; not just in metropolitan London and its provincial equivalents but also far beyond, where old imperial stereotypes remain. the very existence of this book only serves as a positive encouragement to these challenges and ideas.

Duncan Scott

Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work, University of Manchester . . .

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