Friday Forum

29th October 2004 at 01:00
Professor Raj Persaud is a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley hospital and senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London

"There might be lots of reasons why there are racial problems in a school and teachers should never jump to conclusions. They should always take their time to listen. Often, however, there will be powerful individuals who are willing to fight the cause of a larger group. Those people have to be targeted and brought on side.

"One of the key issues about two groups who are deeply alienated is that the more they get to know each other, the less myths and misperceptions will arise. But there has to be an incentive: knowledge of one another and contact with one another is the direct mechanism for combating prejudice, but there has to be a positive benefit in working together.

"In this case, all groups would have seen the benefit in break-dancing. It has a strong competitive element and street cred, and there has to be this kind of appeal. Teachers saying they are going to set up a project that will stop students fighting on racial grounds will get nowhere; they have to create an activity that all the key players will want to get involved with. The effect of that activity is what you are looking for - that students will be spending time together and getting to know one another in a true sense."

Raj Persaud will hold an online behaviour clinic at www.tes.co.uk on November 3

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now