Like I wasn't there, I didn't exist': The invisible students in New Zealand today

Year: 2003

Author: Neville-Tisdall, Mollie, Milne, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
This paper is within the advocacy research paradigm. The purpose of this paper it to explore the recent literature on racism in education both from the New Zealand research and that conducted internationally and by listening to the voices of students alienated from mainstream schools determine to what extent racism plays a part in their disaffection. It is a response to critiques of our work from scholars in the field of poverty and class research who doubted the influence of racism as a factor in the education of Pacific peoples and other minorities. The paper gives the background to the study and then identifies three themes which relate directly to racism: the hegemony of the dominant group in society (power); the mismatch of the cultures of Pacific students and the culture of schools’ pedagogy and structures; and the attitude of pakeha New Zealanders to the cultures of minority peoples.We are aware all the time of Sheets’ warning (2000:19 cited in Brandon, 2003) that we are ‘culturally disadvantaged, experientially limited, and often linguistically deficient in both preparing and teaching the nation’s recipients of this knowledge and service – children of color’.

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