DDU’s Teachers’ Statement
We feel there is a need for teachers who have concerns about the introduction of new EDI/anti-racist strategies to speak out. This can be easier said than done, when you fear you may be the lone voice and may set yourself up for social ostracization at best, or official disciplining at worst. That’s why we’re here, to offer a space to share ideas, concerns and experiences with other teachers who love their subject, love teaching it, and do not want to see political battles fought out by proxy through children and schools.
If you agree with our beliefs, subscribe and join our discussions whether online or in person. Our knowledge-rich curriculum resources offer a different approach by teaching themes through open exploration, in ways that encourage listening and discussion with proper attention to the different age groups. Feel free to use them, adapt them and share them.
Have you taught a lesson loosely based on any of the following themes: belonging, solidarity, freedom or equality? If so, do send it in to be considered for inclusion in our resources page.
1. Our common humanity is indivisible; what unites us is more important than what divides us.
2. Schools should be places where pupils take intellectual risks in an age-appropriate way under the guidance of their teachers, and not places of indoctrination.
3. School lesson content should be based on a selection of the best formal knowledge we have to date. Such knowledge is generative and can be used to encourage children, whatever their differences, to come together in shared intellectual and imaginative work.
4. School life and learning topics do not always need to relate directly to the socio-political realities of today’s society. Formal school knowledge is already relevant: it is part of everyone’s cultural inheritance and if our young people are not properly introduced to it, they won’t be able to improve, change or even reject it for themselves when they become adults.
5. We are opposed to the growing trend among some educators, activists, councils and politicians to attempt to use schools to change society; we think this is something best done by adults through politics.
Practical Recommendations on anti-racism in schools
1. Racist offences should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not through generalised re-education programmes/courses.
2. EDI/anti-racist policies should be shared with, and agreed upon by a majority of the school staff before finalisation. Policies should then be made available on external as well as internal school websites.
3. Details of all third-party organisations that become involved with a school’s policy formation or staff or pupil training, and any proffered materials such as PowerPoint slides, hand-outs, and details of any book or website recommendations, should be made available on external as well as internal school websites.
If you want to find out more, get in touch or support us.