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Student ethnicity

Melinda Webber

Printouts of students’ ethnicities can help remind teachers that they are responsible for educating, and responding to the needs of, students with a range of ethnicities. However, such bare-bones information is very unlikely to fully represent students’ identities. This is especially so for students with multiple ethnicities. A simple list cannot begin to convey the complex and ever-changing nature of students’ ethnic identities. Culturally responsive pedagogy is dependent, in part, on teachers getting to know their students at a deeper level, by teachers not being afraid to raise gritty questions about how their students relate to their own ethnicities and those of others, and by teachers being competent and comfortable in responding to whatever comes to light, both in terms of taking the conversations further and in creating learning opportunities to suit.

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