During the period from 1979 to 1989, a number of racist based incidents have been reported within the Irish education system. For instance, the Vietnam children were picked on and given names such as “chineser” and“blackie”.
The fight against racism in teacher education is an upcoming discipline in Ireland. This can be supported by recommendations put across by scholars that teachers should ensure that students identify with the social reasons behind educational inequality. Researchers argue that teachers need to have an antiracism training to help them address the present racism at the level of structure, participation and curriculum. Teachers also need to reflect on individual biases in order to identify institutionalized practices that need further examination. According to the teachers, racism is as a result of fear, lack of knowledge, rapid immigration and issues of insecurity and uncertainty. They also perceive racism as a personalized phenomenon that results from sensitivity and affiliation feelings.
The sphere of education was also introduced to help fight racism. The system was meant to accommodate the diverse society by teaching other culture. However, it was not successful as it restricted cultural identities. Another move was the introduction of the Critical Race Theory. According to it, the teacher educators were called to cross-examine the prior service pedagogy linked to racism; besides, the teachers address the issues of racism at a classroom setting.
A number of barriers and reactions to anti-racism education pedagogy have been outlined. These encompass responses by students on tasks, discussions and activities that were race-centred and proved to be receptive, resentful, while others failed to understand their relevance. Teachers and students should be prepared to deal with racism in a rational approach. The reflective process, which encompasses examination of assumptions regarding racial and ethnic minorities, is essential in reifying personal attitudes and biases. In the Irish perspective, the importance of connecting theory and practice has been successfully highlighted, with the study showing proof of racism in the Irish post-primary education system.
Such factors as a sense of self-location amongst teachers and their purpose in the larger society are highlighted as some of the important factors to deal with racism. Teachers and students have a role of reforming the standard practices in schools. In the context of Irish experience, teachers take accountability for their larger societal responsibility in improving their professionalism. Nevertheless, the issues of uncertainty and insecurity in dealing with racism are still major problems.
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