'Multicultural' curriculum the reason for poor white kids failing?

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Numberwang
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Some research published by Lambeth Council in south London has found a correlation between a 'multicultural' curriculum and the academic under-achievement of poor white children.

White working-class kids perform worse than all other ethnic groups.

Apparently an emphasis on themes and events such as Black History Month isolates white group.

But correlation doesn't mean causation. Has diversifying the curriculum in recent years come at a cost or not?
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Armadillo
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...timetable.html

This piece from the telegraph features a report that claims white British working class students are being turned off school because the curriculum shuns British traditions.

"Researchers called on the Department for Education to develop a 'curriculum that treats white British identity in the same way as ethnic minorities'."

What are your thoughts on this?
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lucaf
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what on earth is a multi cultural curriculum? the only subjects I could even think that could apply to is RE and history, and surely learning about other faiths and the history of other cultures is half of the point?
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Old_Simon
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I think to add to their other problems poor white kids now feel like some kind of ethnic minority and foreigners in their own land. Historically though they never achieved any more when the syllabus was still full of The Battle of Trafalgar, and epic tales of Scott going to the South pole.
School must feel a very confusing and hostile place to many young people of many different heritages these days.
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GZimmerman
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Whites should have their own schools, just as Jews go to Jewish school we need white schools.
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Maid Marian
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I'm very against a 'multicultural curriculum' anyway. This is Britain, and I want British children to learn about that.
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felamaslen
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The main problem is clearly the fact that children reportedly cannot speak by the age of five and are being raised in front of a TV.

Whatever a "multicultural curriculum" is, it isn't as big of a problem as that.
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Ndella
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This sounds like an excuse to condemn multiculturalism. What's wrong about learning about the history of other cultures? It's actually a good thing and will help others to understand the way people different to you live and to tolerate them. As a black person, I actually enjoyed learning about British history such as the Tudors and British foreign policy, so why shouldn't white children learn to find interest in my history?
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Fullofsurprises
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The thing that strikes me most from that article is the 'small world mentality' teachers described - that school students from poorer backgrounds are not taken on trips, to the park, etc. Also about the white British children being poor in written and oral skills. That underlines why schools in disadvantaged areas need large extra funding and a commitment to take the kids on trips, to help them explore their world more and widen their horizons.

I feel sceptical about the headline of the story, as it claims that it is multicultural education that is at the root of the problem, whereas (in the true right wing press tradition) that really just picks up selectively on the comments of a couple of heads. There may be a problem, but I bet it's not the main problem, whereas all the other issues are.

Note the dig at Sure Start (a New Labour initiative) - the main point of this article is to poke at that, but past evidence has shown that Sure Start was making a material difference to the chances of poorer children in many areas. This piece will have been generated from one of the policy think tanks favoured by Michael Gove and is one of many the Telegraph will feature in the run up to the election. It ticks all the usual right wing boxes - it's the fault of multiculturalism, Labour are to blame, etc, etc. Whereas in reality it's just about long-term unemployed families raising kids in a deprived situation with the schools struggling to help with limited resources.
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Skip_Snip
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Maybe the occasional day now and then (every two months or so) could bang on about other "cultures", but it has no real relevance to Britain, so why waste education time on it?
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DorianGrayism
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I don't think having a black history month is an explanation for groups of white children underachieving for the entire year
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Numberwang
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(Original post by DorianGrayism)
I don't think having a black history month is an explanation for groups of white children underachieving for the entire year
Yeah, I think the link appears rather tedious. I'd say there's definitely an issue but I wouldn't blame the curriculum.
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lonttt530
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(Original post by Numberwang)
Some research published by Lambeth Council in south London has found a correlation between a 'multicultural' curriculum and the academic under-achievement of poor white children.

White working-class kids perform worse than all other ethnic groups.

Apparently an emphasis on themes and events such as Black History Month isolates white group.

But correlation doesn't mean causation. Has diversifying the curriculum in recent years come at a cost or not?

What about maths and science? They fail on those subjects as well.
I blame working class white kids parents attitude to education.
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Skip_Snip
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(Original post by DorianGrayism)
I don't think having a black history month is an explanation for groups of white children underachieving for the entire year
But when the rest of the year had tedious "celebrations" of other "cultures" all the time, this can interrupt proper education.
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InsertWittyName
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It's probably because in working class areas, Asian and black parents on average seem to expect much better from their children than white parents.
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Damask-
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Is 11 white history months not good enough for them?
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whydoidothis?
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The reason is the white working class parents attitude to their education, if you don't start your childs learning at a young age (even teaching them to count) they wont make it far(exceptions obviously). Also I don't really think some people really push their kids to revise these days, so the kids don't bother. This continues the cycle....
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yo radical one
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To be honest, I would much prefer to learn about India than I would learn about Henry VIII making up a religion because he wanted a new wife. British history aside from the Imperial period, is so pointlessly dull. I also think that Shakespeare and Dickens are appalling writers who would never be studied on their own merit. At the same time, I question how this makes much differences anyway, mathematics and science has no cultural slant and English classes were mostly about studying writing techniques, so this seems like people complaining about nothing in my mind.
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College_Dropout
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It would be interesting to see the statistics on percentage of pupils achieving A*-C in English, Maths and Science as surely that would eliminate the multicultural curriculum factor? Just sounds like a pathetic excuse, just blaming the system rather than specific problems. You would girls do worse than boys in traditionally male dominated subjects like Maths and Science but that is not the case anymore, the problem is social attitudes towards education.
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arrow900
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(Original post by yo radical one)
To be honest, I would much prefer to learn about India than I would learn about Henry VIII making up a religion because he wanted a new wife. British history aside from the Imperial period, is so pointlessly dull. I also think that Shakespeare and Dickens are appalling writers who would never be studied on their own merit. At the same time, I question how this makes much differences anyway, mathematics and science has no cultural slant and English classes were mostly about studying writing techniques, so this seems like people complaining about nothing in my mind.
OK cool down there mate.
"Shakespeare and Dickens are appalling writers..."
That quite literally renders all arguments you make from that sentence onwards invalid.
Your participation in this debate has been noted. Goodbye.

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