Thursday, November 11, 2010

Black Boys

Katharine Birbalsingh, (the teacher who looks like the girl on Crystal Tipps and Alistair) recently made the point that black boys are often let down at school.

On average, the black boys I taught behaved far worse than the white ones and had more of a 'chip on their shoulder' attitude. Whilst this is partly due to their family backgrounds being on average less stable and being closer to a 'street culture' of crime and drugs, I believe that it is mainly because no white teacher ever dared to discipline them for fear of being accused of racism, which is the worst thing that can happen to you in teaching. Far better to have robbed a bank or mugged an old lady.

From the day they start school, allowances are made for the black boys and they are punished less harshly and less frequently than the white boys for the same misbehaviour. Kids very quickly work out where their boundaries are and behave accordingly.

Don't forget though, that this is a completely taboo topic in schools. Bringing it up is roughly equivalent to putting a giant Swastika up in your classroom, goose stepping down the corridors and shouting out "Sieg Heil!" when the Head walks into assembly.


Poodle Pelham said...

There's a similar situation prevalent in the UAE, where any attempts to discipline a local student can often result in a teacher getting dismissed. An interesting example is as follows . . .

A supervisor colleague of mine had to 'interview' one of many local college students who had been found guilty of various misdemeanours. The student took exception to being grilled by a foreigner, and told him to 'F*** off' (very good use of English!)

My colleague wrote up the case, and sent it to his boss. Later on, the boss revealed that the student had complained that HE had been abused by the supervisor.

Cutting a long story short, the supervisor had to write a letter of apology to the student - otherwise he would have lost his job.

Sucks, eh?!

Anonymous said...

When my son was five years old, he had an argument with a classmate. "you're just a silly little white boy" says the clasmate, "you're just a silly little black boy" retorts my son. Guess who got told off by the teacher?

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered at the reasons behnd black boys apparently faring worse at school than their white counterparts. The media are always quick to tell us this is the case but there is never any supporting information. WHY do they fare worse? Assuming we are talking about black british children, who speak and understand English as well as the next person then what possible reason is there for them to do so badly?
Either the attitudes they pick up from home and so appalling that they simply do not know how to learn, or there is some kidn of difference between how they are processing the information - kind of like how they claim girls and boys learn differently. I am inclined to think it is due to attitude though. So many black youth in this country seem to think they are american, they seem to have adopted the US style of black culture and have a huge chip on their shoulder as a result.

Jane Primrose said...

Anonymous 2: the point that both Mr Chalk and Ms Birbalsingh are trying to make is that it's not the BOYS who are different, it's how they're TREATED that's different, and so the outcome is different. They need teachers who are not afraid to hold them to high standards. Well, all children need that!