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Nvq Level 2 Teaching Assistant

By momtaz Feb 15, 2012 1372 Words
Understand the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people

2.1 Describe ways in which children and young people can experience prejudice and discrimination

When working in schools, the member of staff should always be aware of ways that children can experience prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is mainly a negative feeling or attitude towards other children or young person, based on stereotypical assumptions, having no information or misinformation about them. Prejudice is about prejudgement basically making up our minds on something about someone before we have any personal experience of or facts about them. Our prejudices may be influenced by our wish to conform and follow others, by our vulnerability, upbringing, family attitudes, friends or by ignorance. Discrimination is a behaviour or action based on prejudice. Discrimination is the end result when a child or a young person is treated badly because they are different or disable and the reasons for this treatment are not relevant and cannot be justified. When people demonstrate prejudice, they often start to label children e.g a group of children who receive additional support with reading may be labelled as the 'slow' group. There are direct discrimination that happens to children and young person who is only allowed to access part of the curriculum and school activities because of their current situation such as race, gender or disability e.g where a school would not allow or accept a pupil because of their special educational need or a group of pupil do not let another pupil join in with them because of their race. The member of staff need to be aware of ways that children or young people might experience indirect discrimination. This can be more difficult to spot because indirect discrimination often occurs when practice and procedures are applied without consideration to individuals circumstances. A child will not be excluded directly but maybe unable to take part because of their personal situation e.g school visiting the caves where pupils must wear a hard hat will indirectly discriminate against a pupil who is wearing a turban as part of his religion. There is also institutional discrimination, this happens when the policies and procedures of an organisation allow practice which directly or indirectly discriminates against someone. Individuals or groups may be practiced within the school and this could be staff, visitors to the school or other children and young people.

2.2 Describe the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people

This will have a major impact on them and these Children can suffer from a climate of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice creates social and emotional tension and can lead to fear, angry, feeling lonely and not wanted. Prejudice and discrimination can undermine the self-esteem and self-confidence of those being ridiculed and make them feel terrible, unaccepted and unworthy. When that happens, their school performance often suffers, they may become depressed and socially withdrawn and childhood can become a much less happy time.

Prejudice is learned at a very young age from parents, other children and people and institutions outside of the family. Children are aware of differences among people, primarily in characteristics like appearance, language and names, but later they are aware of religious and cultural distinctions as well. To some extent, children begin to define and identify themselves through their understanding of these personal differences.

As youngsters try to make sense of these individual distinctions, they may hear and accept simplified stereotypes about others. When that happens, they not only develop distorted views of the youngsters and adults they encounter in daily life, but they may start to deny and overlook the common, universal human elements and traits that would bring people together. As a result, intolerance may develop where there should be friendship.

2.3 Assess how own attitudes, values and behaviour could impact on work with children and young people

Everyone who is working with children in school have a legal duty to protect the rights of children and young people. It is important that you examine your own attitudes and values critically, to know how this may impact on children you are working with. An individual's background, upbringing and experiences can have an effect on attitudes towards individuals and groups, so that's why it is important to recognise these. Personal prejudices, may lead to discriminatory practice, you can overcome by developing a greater understanding of diverse groups in society, e.g to overcome by finding out about religious beliefs and cultures of the children who you are working with and even knowing about the children's special educational needs or disabilities. It is best not to make assumptions about children and young people, try to find out about their backgrounds, interests, abilities and individual needs will help you provide more effective, appropriate and personalised support.

2.4 Describe the important of promoting anti-discriminatory practice in work with children and young people

It is important to promote these positive practices to ensure all children are treated as individuals and in a fair and equal manner. Positive role models in all areas of their lives are so important and discrimination of all kinds needs to be challenged. All children are different and learn different ways at their own speed. The member of staff needs to take this into account when planning, to ensure all children are given the same equal opportunities as their peers, whatever their differing abilities. Ensure equal access to all resources and activities and encourage all children to take part in all activities together no matter what their gender, race, religion, culture or disability is. The school must demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice, they also must monitor the ways that positive practice impacts on the education and well-being of the children and young people. As a member of staff in the school team, you share responsibility to ensure that anti-discriminatory practice is promoted. You must also recognise when discrimination is happening and how to deal with this.

2.5 Describe how to challenge discrimination

It is very important that you should always challenge against discrimination but to do this you should know and recognise anti-discriminatory practice, your role is to protect children against discrimination. When this happens and you ignore it then this will be viewed as condoning (excusing or overlooking) discrimination. Ignoring a child who you know is experiencing discrimination would be wrong because as a member of staff you are here to support children, this child could feel that you share the view of the perpetrator or believe that the way they are being treated is 'normal'. They may feel that they are in some way inferior and at the very least, these children will feel let down that you did not protect their rights.

It would be difficult to challenge discrimination, especially if it is institutional or practiced by a colleague, it is important that you know how to deal with difficult and different situations. To be able to challenge discrimination you need to know and require knowledge of practice, policy and procedures. If you have the knowledge and you feel confident then you will able to handle the situation more effectively when the incidents that arise. When discrimination happens it might be intentional, or maybe because of ignorance and luck of understanding. It is not easy to change someone's views or opinion but it is right thing to challenge discriminatory comments and actions. It is important to learn assertiveness strategies that may help when you recognise discrimination, when challenging discrimination, you should do:

explain what has happened or what has been happening and what has said that is discriminatory

state the effect of this on the individual, group and others

suggest or model ways to ensure anti-discriminatory practice.

When you are concerned about anti-discriminatory practice, whether by pupils or staff in school, you must speak to your supervisor or manager at the school college tutor. You must also be aware of the school's policy when racism is taking place. The code of practice to promote race equality includes the duty of the school to monitor and report to the local education authority (LEA) on all racist incidents.

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