I train teachers for K-12 classrooms. I share with them research-supported practices to increase student participation, such as planning a classroom library that reflects and affirms the identity of all students; welcomes all students’ languages and dialects into the classroom; and encourages them to reflect on the economic impact of systemic racism and their How their own prejudices affect their interactions with students and families. Most of my students are white women, and so am I. Therefore, I find it important to prepare them to serve students who are different from their own. Research shows that they will be more effective in this role If they actively consider the impact of race on their teaching.
Across the country, lawmakers are proposing bills that might make these practices illegal.In my state of Missouri, the legislator proposed HB 952, Was described as a ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and specifically targeted the “1619 Project.” The bill stagnated in the legislature after extensive debate. But this is not over yet.Right next door, Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a Broader billing Cheng law.It is not clear how these laws will affect higher education, but professional organizations including the American Association of University Professors have issued statement Condemn them. In any case, we are likely to see more states join Oklahoma in the coming year.
I am not a CRT expert, so I will leave it to others Detailed Description. As a teacher educator, CRT enters my consciousness through theorists, including Gloria Radson-Billings and William F. Tate IVAnd recently Bettina Love, Who has applied it to the educational environment to explain the basic way white supremacy shapes our school system. I am not alone; these long-overdue realizations have entered the mainstream and have influenced many assumptions that people in my field bring to their work.
But it must be pointed out that many of these laws not only prohibit CRT. Oklahoma’s law is written so extensively that it prohibits any form of education about racism, sexism, or other forms of oppression. Part of its content is: “Any orientation or requirement that shows any form of racial or gender stereotypes or prejudices based on race or gender should be prohibited.”
This sentence not only does not allow offensive remarks such as “Blacks are not as smart as whites”, but it also forbids me to educate my students on how this belief shapes our school system, including The prejudice of white teachers continues to lead to lower expectations of black studentsBy doing so, the author of the bill would argue that I would “stereotype” white people. The bill also expressly prohibits questioning the concept of meritocracy. Therefore, if black students have low test scores or a high dropout rate, I obviously should blame them on their lack of merit, rather than systemic racism in the school. No coincidence, so I will reinforce the racist myth that “blacks are not as smart as whites.”
So far, I have not explicitly talked about CRT with my students-although ironically, I may have to start because teachers need to consider the impact of these bans on them. I am very happy to do this because CRT has influenced a lot of groundbreaking research in the past decade. The CRT calls for more profound changes than adding a few books to the library or conducting an implicit bias test—it requires a fundamental shift in social and ethnic relations to redirect us towards justice. When we admit that our education system fails to serve the most marginalized students, we need to make a radical change.
Many conservatives will claim that this attitude makes me dangerous to my students.They might say that I’m worse than the K-12 teacher using “The 1619 Project” or Howard Zinn The history of the American people, Because I encourage a new generation of teachers to accept this worldview. Conservative commentator Glenn Baker called the CRT “Attacks on Christianity and Western culture itself. “Oklahoma Governor Stitt thinks this may be”Used to define and classify young Oklahoma people about their race or gender. “Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas called CRT”Anti-American. “
But how do these politicians and authority figures explain to my students why there are only 13% of the books in the classroom library they may inherit contain multicultural content, Although 37% of students in the United States are children of color? Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, what theory will they put forward to explain why? Many schools are still segregated and unequal, and schools for black children are underfunded? How do they explain why they started in preschool, Black children are subject to disciplinary actions and suspensions three times as often as white children,Create School to prison Does this have a negative impact on our society as a whole?
What reasons can they provide Why multilingual students have been and still are deprived of the right to use their mother tongue in school, Although research shows These policies may hinder their progress in English? How would they explain to my white student Why their teacher preparation plans usually include women who look like them, Despite the fact that most K-12 students are not white, and research shows that they benefit from teachers with the same identity?
Those conservative lawmakers and media figures will deny these statistics, describe them as a strange coincidence, or maybe—as Tom Cotton calls slavery—claim they are “Necessary evil“On the inevitable road to freedom and justice in the United States for all? Perhaps they will blame the social safety net policy of freedom and somehow on people like me.
I find that systemic racism is a more convincing explanation for these disturbing educational trends. But the mistake of conservative politicians is: I don’t believe that the United States is “Hopeless. “I don’t think my white students are destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations of white teachers. If I do, I don’t know how to motivate myself to get up and go to work every morning.
A common criticism of the CRT is that it defines white people as “Naturally racist. “But white people are not racist because they are white; we Think of ourselves as white people because we grew up in a racist society. I don’t want my white students to hate themselves or their roots. I want them to consider how the privileges they receive from racial categories that are constructed as superior affect their lives as educators.
Answer today’s students
We can do better All our children. We can create classrooms that welcome every student without concealing undeniable facts in our country’s history. We can teach children about the Tulsa genocide, with A multi-ethnic movement for racial justice, with The ordinary happiness and struggle of blacks and browns—not to divide them, but to make them agree on what brought us to this point and how we can build a fairer future for everyone. As a parent of white children, I don’t believe that CRT is “Split“; I think it can help us understand and correct our differences already exists, Some white people deny or ignore the differences.
It has already happened.Whether conservatives like it or not, white millennials are more likely to become Aware of institutional discrimination And support policies to combat it. Interestingly, in the five years I have worked with pre-service teachers, they have become more open to examining the impact of racism on education. I don’t have to “instill” my students to become “social justice fighters”; in many cases, they expose me to new perspectives and help me understand how long-term discrimination I may have—whether related to race, disability, gender, Socioeconomic status is related to other factors.Positioning white youth as innocent people in need of protection both underestimates them and As black history expert LaGarrett King pointed out, Reveals how conservative politicians do not care about protecting black and brown youth from the actual dangers of racism.
These differences may not matter to those who condemn CRT. On the contrary, they seem to provide naive patriotism, American exceptionalism, destiny and neoliberal ideology, and the futile desire to control the “others” they are so afraid of. If teacher educators like these ideas more than CRT, they can express them freely; most universities promise academic freedom. But I guess it is difficult for them to answer the questions raised by today’s college students.
People will not agree on ideal teaching and teacher training methods, and Detailed discussions around racism Vital.But ban CRT-when it affects Age-appropriate and research-based racial and racist teaching methods – Not only is it misled, but it can also be counterproductive. This theory was little known a few years ago, but now it has become news. For my students, I doubt it will label what their life experience has taught them.
Despite the promise of academic freedom, writing this article feels very risky, because as a non-tenured professor, I have almost no job security.Dare to teach how racism affects and continues to affect this country. Even the most outstanding professionals have encountered obstacles in their careers. Recently Nicole Hannah-JonesThere is also a risk that I will present this case in a way that will have an unexpected negative impact on teachers, CRT scholars, or marginalized people most affected by these bans; I am a learner of these conversations, and I welcome people from any of these groups Feedback from people.
But I believe that white people who believe that anti-black racism is real need to say no to laws that prevent schools from facing this reality. If the legislators in my state legislature want to track down my use of research-based best practices consistent with the CRT, so be it.