Learning to Talk about Racist Discrimination

Report on a Working Group by Toan Nguyen

Students may experience various forms of racist discrimination at school, including poorer grades and verbal attacks. They may be overlooked or even ignored entirely, along with the knowledge they wish to share. In the workshop, we reflected on how this affects educational relationships and learning conditions and why learning to talk about racism is important. The goal was to learn about specific ideas and approaches to developing an anti-racist consciousness inside and outside school.

Experiences of racism can have hurtful, degrading, and discriminatory effects on students, regardless of what forms that racism takes. It is often a challenge for students to successfully defend themselves against their antagonists. Situations can crop up in classrooms in which it can be difficult to address and deal with racism in an appropriate, satisfactory manner. Several factors play a role:

  • The individual student’s resistance strategies and resources for empowerment
  • Their fellow students’ empathy, solidarity, and willingness to help
  • The sensitivity, attention, and competence of the responsible educators and other adults
  • The school’s policies for handling such situations

Adopting an anti-racist attitude as a teacher can involve firmly intervening in the event of racist discrimination, protecting students from further harassment and harm, ensuring a non-discriminatory school atmosphere, and creating and preserving the required school structures.

This workshop was led by Toan Nguyen, Bildungswerkstatt Migration and Society e.V. (Migration and Society Educational Workshop), Berlin


Dr. Diana Dressel
Head of Education Department
T +49 (0)30 259 93 515

Conference Documentation: Schools and Museums Conference Working Groups (19)

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