Racism in the ESOL classroom

Recent influxes of economic migrants has highlighted the importance of not just Skills for Life but Values for Life. That is, the harbouring of outdated and offensive attitudes needs addressing and it currently isn’t it. In our classrooms of late there have been several racist incidents, cleverly nuanced admittedly, but racist nevertheless. The Government is not interested in addressing this. They are more interested in students learning how to open a bank account or joining a gym. This is clearly pitched at the individual level; there is no interest in social cohesion or the promotion of the liberal ideal.
Perhaps this lack of community focus shows that the current Labour regime lack self-confidence, for like the Tories before them, when you have made a catalogue of mistakes that haunt your every move you do nothing and attribute it all to market forces.


Do we really desire recent migrants harbouring these views? You could say that they will learn about multi-culturalism from living in the UK? But what if they don’t? What if they pass on those values to their children or vote based on such beliefs?
Fundamentally, we either believe in what we preach i.e. multi-cuturalism and respect for all, or we don’t. If we don’t, then let each man work it out for himself. But if we do, we must educate, even if that means confrontation and conflict. What did the UK fight a war against Hitler for? So that people could be taught Skills for Life or because Nazi values were diametrically opposed to ours?

And it isn’t just the ESOL classroom, either. See here.

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