In a recent article, a debate in South Africa has resulted in a proposed prescription for fighting racism. The prescription focuses on transforming the history curriculum taught in universities and schools. South Africa must first transform the mindset on those who are responsible for teaching in school before implementing the prescribed strategy.
According to the article, Fight against racism begins in schools, during a debate, Dr. Mathole Motshekga conveyed that racism is derived from the falsification and misrepresentation of historical facts. Dr. Motshekga believes racism was developed by Europeans as a vehicle to justify advances in slavery, colonialism, and imperialism which resulted in the subjugation and oppression of Black people in Africa.
In South Africa, it was systematically developed into state policies and then implemented in a brutal fashion by using the family structure, schools, and the church to promote White supremacy and domination. Furthermore Whites were deliberately socialized to believe that they were superior to Black people and Black people were inferior which has resulted in institutionalized racism according to Dr. Motshekga. Dr. Motshekga went on to say that Whites saved Blacks from their present barbaric state due to their lack of history.
Like any good doctor Dr. Motshekga has prescribed a plan for fighting racism in South Africa. According to Dr. Motshekga, “We need to engage in a social re-engineering process using the schooling system, in particular the compulsory teaching of progressive and inclusive history in our schools as a tool to promote non-racialism and tolerance.
This could be consolidated by introducing a compulsory multi-disciplinary first-year course across all faculties in South African universities and colleges that promote values and beliefs of anti-racism and racial solidarity.”
The problem with Dr. Motshekga’s prescription is that it does not take into consideration the mindset of those presently teaching. In the United States, the majority teaching staff is White which is more than likely the same in South Africa. Because of the characteristics associated with a dysfunctional organization, many White teachers would reject such a requirement.
Before implementing such a program, South Africa needs to evaluate the present mental models of their teachers. Mental models will evaluate the values, attitudes, and beliefs that teachers are thinking that cause the racism to exist. The best process begins with interviewing the teachers.
Interviews will provide a real-life data collection process to assist with eliminating racism in South Africa Schools. Interviews will provide the information needed for the racial analysis. Interviews will provide with a method to develop detailed holistic descriptions and processes that integrate multiple teacher perspectives by reporting interrelated behaviors and events that bridge intersubjectives for reporting purposes as an insider and identifying and framing hypothesis. Structured interviews are the best alternative because the interviewed South African teachers will receive the same questions.
The next step is to tape record the interviews. Recording interviews will provide the opportunity to transcribe responses verbatim. Next, have each interviewee to sign a consent form and develop an interview guide. Interview guides ensure the interviewer carefully decides how to make the best of the interview process within a limited time window.
The next step is to transcribe the interviews. After transcribing the interviews, return the transcribed interview copies to each interviewee to verify that the transcriptions which will increase validity by member checking. Member checking involves sharing interview transcriptions with the interviewed participants to make sure the responses represent them and their ideas.
Now that you have effectively evaluated the mental models of the teachers involved you should use a pilot group on a small scale to eliminate South Africa school racism. This will effectively transform the desires of many people in South Africa without the adverse effects of a dysfunctional organization which continue to undermine any efforts to eliminate racism.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President