Racism and cultural identity: the reflections of two Black trainee teachers' engagement with the Stephen Lawrence Symposium

EDWARDS, Martyn (2015). Racism and cultural identity: the reflections of two Black trainee teachers' engagement with the Stephen Lawrence Symposium. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 4 (1).

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/seej.v4i1.103


The Stephen Lawrence Symposium held in London in 2013 provided an opportunity for academics and educators to reflect on changes in education and wider society resulting from the legacy of Stephen Lawrence over the 20 years since his racist murder. A Black African trainee teacher and a Black Caribbean trainee teacher in post-16 teacher training at a large university in the North of England participated in a series of lunchtime discussion groups as part of their university-based training. This led to them presenting a workshop at the Stephen Lawrence Symposium in London based upon artefacts that conjured up memories of racism for them. Reflections on their experiences of engaging with the Stephen Lawrence symposium suggested that family-support and support from the wider Black community was important to them in sustaining their engagement. Such family and community support may ameliorate the sense of alienation that Black trainees may experience from their predominantly White-British peers in university-based teacher training. Whilst such support may be more significant for Black trainee teachers than that provided through formal student support systems, it is not widely recognised as such by universities and may be seen as contrary to university-culture. Personal experiences and memories of racism were key to the Black trainees' engagement with the Stephen Lawrence Symposium. Capturing those memories through the writing of personal narratives was more problematic than presenting at the Symposium itself. Structured support with collaborative writing is needed if the 'student-voice' on student-engagement is to be heard. Recommendations for future work on racism that resonated with the particular interests of the four participants have been made along with some wider recommendations that may be transferable to other contexts. Recommendations for further research are made. Keywords: Stephen Lawrence; Black trainee teachers; memories of racism; family/community support; student voice; student engagement.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/seej.v4i1.103
Depositing User: Martyn Edwards
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 15:35
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 04:47
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9049

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