Anti-racism in education: promoting racial equity and building a global anti-racist movement

Blog by Jáfia Naftali Câmara School of Education, University of Bristol

The Transformative and Anti-racist Educational System project (SETA) secured US$10 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to enable transformative long-term changes to Brazil’s systems and institutions that sustain racial inequities. ActionAid has developed SETA in collaboration with a coalition of civil society organisations: Ação Educativa, Brazil’s leading NGO working in education, culture and youth rights;  A Campanha Nacional pelo Direito à Educação, the widest educational collective in Brazil, including student and community groups; CONAQ, a national Quilombola movement advocating for their specific educational needs and challenging inequality and barriers to land access; Geledés-Black Woman Institute, focuses on defending Black women’s rights and challenging traditionally white and male-dominated education spaces; Makira-E’ta, a leading Indigenous Women’s Network supporting Indigenous women’s rights and UNEafro Brasil, which convenes young people, teachers, activists and researchers around themes of antiracism, the right to education, community leadership and the fight against all types of discrimination. The SETA project aims to spark an intergenerational dialogue on racism and education and mobilise a global network on racial justice in education.

Creative ways to educate for more just futures – EdJAM Network 2022 Reflections

International Day of Education 2023 special blog by the EdJAM Network

To acknowledge International Day of Education 2023 the Education Justice and Memory Network (EdJAM) reflects on some of our work during the past year, and the creative ways our colleagues have been teaching and learning about the violent past for more than just futures.

EdJAM Funded Projects

In Autumn 2021, we launched a call for proposals for projects based in countries on the OECD’s list Overseas Development Assistance Recipients. We received 58 applications from around the world, the quality of which was exceptional. Our budget allowed for the selection of a total of 18 projects, and this was done through a review process undertaken by EdJAM investigators and members of the Advisory Board.  We welcomed our new colleagues to our network and begin working with them at the start of 2022. You can read our press release about the funded projects and explore project pages (more…)

Children’s Voice versus Children’s Voices

By Debbie Williams, School of Education, University of Bristol

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international human rights treaty that encompasses fifty-four articles that advocate the rights of each child (CRC, 1989). The most influential (and contentious) of these children’s rights — in accord to much literature (Freeman, 2009; Lundy et al., 2019; Archard, 2020) — is Article 12 (respect for the views of the child):

‘1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.’                                                   (CRC, 1989, p.5)

This Article somewhat advocates regard for each child’s views and their right to be heard (Archard, 2004). There is no stipulation as to how these views ought to be expressed. Though ‘views’ are implicitly synonymous to ‘voice’ and ‘voice’ is contentious (Alexander, 2010). I implore that we consider ‘children’s voice’ not as a singular but rather a plurality of ‘children’s voices’ to advocate a more inclusive and informed implementation of this instrumental children’s right. (more…)

Female students for political leadership in Nigeria: mirroring possibilities?

By Zibah Nwako and Oluwadamilola Akintewe

Our society exists in such a way that a small unit can be a mirror to the whole. For instance, the family is one of the smallest units of society and the composition of what makes a family is the representation of, to a certain extent, the larger society. In the same vein, we can deduce that leadership and governance across student unions in Nigerian universities, replicate governance at State and Federal levels.

A student union is the apex body of students in a higher institution of learning, created for the purpose of promoting and guarding the interest of its members[1]. The Student Union Government (popularly termed SUG) is the middle body between the university administration and the whole student population. It is also the first point of contact for vital information disseminated from the top administrative hierarchies to the students. (more…)

A ‘race and education’ film club: New reflexive possibilities

Blog by Lucy Wenham, Senior Lecturer in Education at University of Bristol  Janet Orchard, Associate Professor at University of Bristol  Alexandra Brown, Philosophy and Religious Studies Secondary School Teacher  Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Bermuda College  Merryn Evans, Head of Religion and Worldviews at Redland Green School  Saima Saleh, Head of RE/Religion and Worldviews at Ravenscote Junior School

In England, as with so many settings around the globe, researchers have long-debated how concepts of racism interplay with education, whether at the systemic or classroom level (see for example Gillborn, 1995). Race and purported levels of racism remain a contentious issue, causing governments to commission reports and researchers to scrutinise their limitations and implications of racism for education (Tikly, 2022). These issues are as pertinent as ever, perhaps even more so, given heightened xenophobia following the Brexit campaigns, and schools accused by government ministers of ignoring their duty to be politically impartial by supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) movement. Teachers sit in the thick of it.

“Leaky spaces for Climate Change Education are not enough for Bristol’s young people”

city hall, BristolBlog by Mrs Michelle Graffagnino, Senior Lecturer in Education, and Dr Nicola Warren-Lee, Senior Lecturer in Education.

After attending a Bristol Education Partnership Climate Change event at City Hall in Bristol, Nicola and Michelle recall the brilliance of the student contributions, the passion of the senior leaders and the ambiguity of the attending DfE representative.

City Hall in Bristol is impressive.  Even more so on a crisp autumnal morning full of enthusiastic school students armed with posters, and a cohort of beginning geography teachers ready to take their first steps into a microteaching event on climate change curriculum improvement in October 2022. The Bristol Education Partnership (BEP) had organised a climate conference to showcase individual schools’ climate change initiatives and to bring students to take part in workshops on different areas of climate action.  The School of Education, PGCE Secondary Geography group were there to support discussions on how the curriculum that students follow could be changed, improved and linked together. (more…)

Her Time, Her Rights, Her Future

Her time her rights her future Blog post by Dr Zibah Nwako, School of Education, University of Bristol

Today, 11th October 2022, is the International Day of the Girl Child.

Decades ago, girls had few rights in society and vague futures to look forward to. As time passed and with the advancement of women’s rights, it became clear that girls deserve equal chances in life as boys. We now know that the girl child should have the same rights to education, a successful future, a lifetime free from violence and discrimination, and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. To an extent, these rights are being protected. Many girls, particularly those born in African patriarchal societies, have been able to access education. (more…)

What can prehistoric preschool teach us about climate change education in the present?

Blog by Professor Paul Howard-Jones, School of Education, University of Bristol

Several years ago in Turkey, an archaeologist invited me to descend into a pit where one of the first urban settlements was being unearthed. There was a hearth, holes for holding pots and the remains of plaster on the walls, still bearing traces of decoration.

The layers of development exposed by this excavation revealed a continuous period of innovation since around 6000BC. Over its lifetime – around 1,200 years – the site hosted the first “urbanites”, who had left their nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle behind and begun a journey of creativity and invention. Among their ideas were novel building techniques, cooking methods, and ways to create and use pottery. (more…)

School of Education Climate Action Group: reflections on 2021-2022

Blog by Professor Alf Coles, School of Education, University of Bristol

The School of Education Climate Action Group started in 2021 and, among many things it did in 2021-22, the most high profile was the ‘Climate Justice Challenge’, which ran for 30 days in March 2022.

This blog will reflect on that Challenge, as it is something we aim to re-run in March 2023, and also detail some of the wider and continuing aims of the Climate Action Group. (more…)

Global Dialogue: Reflections as a student participant

Global dialogue reflections as a student participantBlog by Emily Hui Sein Yue (Elim), Master of Education (MEd)(Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Development)student, Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong.

I first participated in the Going Global Project in 2019, going on to be a facilitator. In this article, I share my experiences and thoughts about the value of the dialogue meetings that I have been involved in. (more…)