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5 ways teachers can challenge inequality in the classroom

The Guardian – Laura Teague

“Schools produce inequality. Work carried out by educational sociologists such as Kalwant Bhopal, David Gillborn and Deborah Youdell shows that the everyday practices of teaching and learning exclude already marginalised groups of students while guaranteeing success for others. My own research found that in a climate where teachers are under extreme pressure to produce results, practices such as ability setting, continual student assessments, shaming behaviour management approaches and short-hand descriptors of students – such as “low ability” or “SEN” – are commonplace. Students who are already part of minority groups in society – for instance, due to race, class, gender or a disability – are disproportionately represented in so-called low ability groups; often score below average in tests (because of the system rather than the students); and are frequently misrepresented or underrepresented in curriculum material presented in class.”(more)

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