Racism in schools and kindergardens

Group: Lotta Laurikainen(writer), Petra Nurmi, Kyllikki Kosunen, Hiroe Ryosho

Out of a second lecture’s articles we were discussing mostly about Van Ausdale’s article about small children. We were thinking that in a way small children are ”colorblind”, and they imitate adults on how to act in different kind of situations. We think that a child is rarely born with different kind of expectations and prejudice are arisen when the child realizes how others behave. That shows in one example in the article where a girl thinks that all black bunnies are males and the white ones are females, because her own father is black and mother white.

Children also understand very well each other’s different background and can communicate well together. That is visible also in a situation where two children can have good conversation even when they don’t have a common language. Some children in the article were really mean towards others and that is also challenging situation for the teacher. We think that this kind of situation is quite rare here in Finland, because school children in the article were having so many various ethnical and racial backgrounds unlike here. That type of situation is clearly more demanding for the teacher because in addition to all other difficulties teachers are facing during the day, they need to pay attention to possible racial issues.

In Dovemark’s article main idea is to illustrate that Swedish students are seen as the most ”elite”, and all the other student groups are compared to them. Problem in that kind of situation is that people are categorized straight according to their culture, not by the individual. A problem on some cultures having conflict with each other because similar conflicts had occurred in their home country was raised in the article. It is a challenge to treat all students in the same way despite the culture influence. Especially teachers with longer teaching experience were having prejudice on students with different cultural background.

Articles clearly proved that there is still a lot of racism around us. We think though that the situation is somewhat different here in Finland because here is not yet that much immigrants. This will change in the future and issues with racism might probably increase in schools. Even though there is no clear signs of racism in the current Finnish school system, we do have some problems due to immigration. A solution should be found for that, because at the moment immigrants’ children can lag two years in elementary school, which leads to problems in work life and increased inequality.

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