Attempting to disrupt racial division in social work classrooms through small-group activities
The notion of racial difference and racial segregation has continued to be problematic in higher education studies. Students belonging to Ethnic Minority groups often feel segregated even in courses and classrooms that promote anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practices. This paper presents a study that investigated seventy-five students from the BA and MA student cohorts within a London-based university. Students were encouraged to integrate and interrogate matters of race and belonging during a seminar on protected characteristics designed to disrupt racial division. Qualitative surveys were conducted to understand participants' views about racial disruption and experiences after the activities. Findings revealed ongoing segregation after the activity in and out of the classroom, fear of approaching racialised spaces, the need for additional brave reflective spaces that disrupt racial segregation and foster better understanding about race. The paper concludes by stressing the significance and value of racially disruptive teaching activities and racial assimilation in social work programmes as a means of tackling racial bias, segregation and decolonisation.