In a recent article, several British teachers have united in an effort to eliminate school curriculum materials that fuel racism in schools. It is thought that school books and other materials are the primary vehicles that promote the agenda of those who are not marginalized. Teachers can promote school curriculum materials that eliminate racism by piloting other materials in the classroom. According to the article, Militant teachers demand schools stop promoting ‘British values’ as it makes children from other cultures feel inferior, teachers are demanding that local schools districts cease from emphasizing British values in the school curriculum because it makes children from other cultures feel inferior. The National Union of Teachers has voiced its support for their teachers. According to the Teachers Union, “government guidelines are aimed at tackling extremism in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, children must be taught about being a British citizen as well as tolerance other faiths and lifestyles.” However, union leaders said the “term was demeaning to other cultures particularly in the context of multicultural schools and the wider picture of migration.”
Operation Trojan Horse refers to an organized attempt by a number of associated individuals to introduce an Islamist or Salafist ethos into several schools in Birmingham, England. The name, based on the Greek legend, comes from a leaked letter discovered in March 2014, alleged to be from Birmingham Islamists detailing how to wrest control of a school and speculating about expanding the scheme to other cities. Around a month later, Birmingham City Council said that it had received “hundreds” of allegations of plots similar to those illustrated in the letter, some dating back over 20 years. Tahir Alam, former chairman of the Park View Educational Trust which ran three schools in Birmingham, was found to have written a 72-page document for the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007 detailing a blueprint for the “Islamisation” of secular state schools.
The National Teachers Union has developed school curriculum materials for teacher usage. The problem is that like the British government, they are using the same method to infuse alternative school curriculum in the schools. They are shoving the school curriculum materials down the teachers and students throats without knowing the extended outcome. They are exhibiting characteristics associated with a dysfunctional organization.
Dysfunctional organizations exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to the existence of organizations such as a school. There are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization. A dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening.
The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes an incompetent skill that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting.
Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.
Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.
Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.
Both the National Teachers Union and the British government have reached the final level of a dysfunctional organization. The British government and the National Teachers Union have both blamed the school curriculum as the source of racism in their schools. They are only referring to the negative aspects associated with the curriculum instead of emphasizing what is positive which is an effort to cover-up how their individual values contribute to a school curriculum that fuels racism in schools.
The British government and the National Teachers Union can minimize the impact of racism by first piloting the recommended school curriculum of a smaller level and once the nuances have been worked out they can recommend it for the entire school system.
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