The characteristic feature of Canada is its multiculturalism and an acceptance of diversity (Reitz & Banerjee, 2006). Besides, Canada is considered a country that deals with pluralism more successfully than other societies. However, inequity and vulnerability of human rights in educational sphere remain a problem of the Canadian society. In this regard, many researchers state that there is a need to make racial diversity among students more acceptable than it is now. The solution of this problem is among major priorities in education.
The predominance of whiteness in educational area is racial discrimination which is associated with unjust power relations. Canada is known to be a dynamic reflection of the immigration trend in modern globalized world where people of different races often move to other countries striving for a better life. The fact that people of different origins perceive certain phenomena in a different way leads to the issue that the concept of identity is socially constructed. Identity consists of multiple components which include ethnicity, gender, religion, language and others. All of these components shape the reality of a person. Analysis of the role of identity is the main issue that contributes to further understanding of the insight of Canadian schools and educational policies.
It is impossible to discuss the problem of racism and the achievement of social justice without a proper definition of whiteness. Whiteness which deals with power and a number of privileges (being) is a major factor in understanding social inequality. In 1980s, the Toronto Board of Education greatly persecuted a policy of affirmative actions for women. It resulted in the fact that nowadays a great number of principals in elementary and secondary schools are comprised of women, mainly of white race (Carr, 1997). Many researchers draw a line between ďgoodĒĚ people and ďracistsĒĚ. In this case such feelings as guilt and fear are clearly visible among white teachers. The fact that being ďgoodĒĚ and being ďracistĒĚ represents two contradictory sides leads to a conclusion that white teachers are terrible people. That is why most of them had to accept their racism as something incontrovertible. It might be important for white teachers to understand that they can remain good people even if they are racists. However, all their efforts to somehow hide their racial attitude towards Caribbean groups fail(Needs evidence). As a result, racism of white teachers is likely to have a destructive impact on the children they teach.
Investigators on the matter of racism in education found out that write and ethnical minority teachers had considerable differences in the way they perceived anti-racist education as well as educational discrimination. In this regard, the experience and full access to power are main factors that determine the educational culture as it is related with social justice. However, in Canada there can be seen certain changes in educational sphere. It is visible in the way modern teachers understand the concepts of justice, goodness, generosity, sympathy and tolerance towards students (Carr, 2008). Some teachers are known to have certain prejudice towards students of Caribbean origin. It is explained by the fact that unlike Ukrainians, for example, Caribbean people remain on the back of the scene. They do not have as much rights and privileges as white people which results in discrimination. However, the question of whether most white people realize that they are different from other races remains a matter of discussion. Many of them do not even know how to use their positions of power and treat Caribbean students as equals. It brings social justice to the classroom.
Canada is considered to be a world’s leader in education. (According to who?) Despite the efforts of many Canadian teachers to contribute to the upbringing of students belonging to different racial groups, nowadays, the governmental authorities face certain problems in the Canadian education in regard to racism at schools. The diversity of Canadian students gradually increases and the educational system should change in accordance to this tendency. According to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation there are a number of means to improve the educational system in Canada and eliminate racism at schools. These means include:
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Teachers should analyze their prejudice and reluctance towards Caribbean students as well as students of other ethnicities. They should pay attention to their verbal and non-verbal messages as they have a strong impact on further behaviour of students.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Teachers should not avoid questions or pretend that racial discrimination does not take place in the classroom. On the contrary, teachers are advised to get involved in conversation with both white students and students of Caribbean origin. It will help to create a feeling of equality and a friendly atmosphere among students.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Teachers should not forget that their behaviour might further influence the behaviour of their students. As children are likely to imitate the behaviour of adults, it may result in discrimination and prejudice of white children towards children of Caribbean origin.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Teachers should be active participants in the education of their children. They should not only help children with homework, but also provide full background information on different life matters. In such a way, they should take part in a number of in-class activities as well as various extra-curricular ones (Mentor, 2000). (What does it have to do with discrimination of the people with Caribbean origin?)
If these simple rules are followed, discrimination is unlikely to ever take place in the classroom with students of diverse ethnicity. (Grammar)
It is also important to distinguish certain cases of discrimination in Canadian schools in regard to Caribbean origin students. The most widely spread are the following:
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Absence or small number of teachers of the Caribbean origin in Canadian schools.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Disregard for or a complete alteration of students’ names under a common statement that their names are too complicated.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Jokes or pictures emphasizing the fact that Caribbean students are of different ethnicity.
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The prohibition against Caribbean origin students to form groups or socialize in any way during breaks or lunch time. (needs evidence)
–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A common opinion that presumes poor intelligence of Caribbean students or their parents because of their foreign accent or poor knowledge of French or English (Mentor, 2000).