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The EAR question: Which everyday acts by educators counteract:  Racial and race-class inequality of opportunity and outcome  false, harmful, stereotypical.

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Presentation on theme: "The EAR question: Which everyday acts by educators counteract:  Racial and race-class inequality of opportunity and outcome  false, harmful, stereotypical."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The EAR question: Which everyday acts by educators counteract:  Racial and race-class inequality of opportunity and outcome  false, harmful, stereotypical ideas about “types of people”?   Less opportunity More opportunity

3 How do we define “racism”? Any act or situation that even unwittingly:  Tolerates, accepts, or reinforces racially unequal opportunities for children to learn and thrive;  Allows racial inequalities in opportunity as if they are normal and acceptable;  Treats people of color as less worthy or less complex than white people.

4 Do everyday acts matter? Yes!  Racial inequality accumulates across generations  Racial inequality accumulates across domains  Racial inequality accumulates over the everyday life of a child - Rebecca Blank, economist (2005)

5 Gallop through 600 years of history  How racial categories were created, despite having no valid genetic basis  How through law, these categories became central to who got which opportunities  How science supported racist ideas about “types of people” – ideas that are still with us

6 An American teacher’s dilemma: In a world that is already racially unequal, And that already contains racist ideas about “types of people,” When and how should I be “colorblind,” and when and how should I be “race conscious”?

7 Two antiracist impulses:  Treat all people as individual human beings, not racial group members.  Recognize/inquire into people’s real experiences as racial/ethnic group members Keep asking: which everyday acts by educators counteract a racially unequal world, and racist ideas about “types of people”?   Less opportunityMore opportunity

8 Four core principles of everyday antiracism: 1. Rejecting false notions of human difference 2. Acknowledging lived experiences shaped along racial lines (and other lines of group experience) 3. Learning from diversity in human experience, and valuing different experiences equally 4. Challenging racial inequality.

9 More inquiries central to everyday antiracism Ask what it means to “care” for students Analyze who needs which opportunities from the school (individual needs – group needs --- all students’ needs) Analyze your racial patterns thoroughly, not reductively **Inquire into actual student, family, community experiences Discuss and assess interactions with students Discuss and assess interactions with parents Inquire into curriculum

10 The EAR inquiry method Pull out the gold nuggets at 3 levels : PRINCIPLE : big ideas about what “antiracist” teaching entails. STRATEGY : compelling actions any educator might try. TRY TOMORROW : specific solutions for a particular person’s school or classroom. (naming core tensions often really helps.)

11 Things to expect  Defensiveness : acknowledge good people, unwitting harm; make inquiry ongoing rather than just at moments of crisis  My everyday acts don’t matter/debates over who is to blame : acknowledge “it’s not just us, but it is also us”  “ Shouldn’t we be colorblind ?”: antiracism = emphasizing individuality but antiracism also = handling actual racialized world  Desire for answers vs. inquiry (What can I do?)  Frustration with limited time  Singleton: expect people to stay silent, say things they don’t totally mean, and not want to engage. ( name expected tensions !)  ***NAME ALL OF THESE TENSIONS AS COMMON.

12 ...and more things that might help...and more things that might help  Critique scripts, not actors speaking them  Mix compassion for speaker with compassion for children  Expect mistakes  Ask good questions  Push toward thorough, precise analysis  Name core tensions  Talk more about talking  Clarify that the point is ongoing inquiry into the potential of everyday educator activity to assist young people.


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