Racism in the Classroom By Latoria Doss 10-31-07
Introduction • It is important for teachers to do everything possible to prevent racism in their classrooms. I chose this topic so that I could help educate my classmates on ways to combat racism in the classroom. On top of all the other duties teaches are required to do, this is not an easy task. Students need to be taught at an early age about being anti-racist.
Overview • It is the duty of the teachers to attempt to eliminate racism. In this presentation, I will be giving ways to help combat racism in the classroom. • I will be giving useful websites that have lesson plans and other ideas teachers can use to help students to become anti-racist.
Summary • Racism is not going to be eliminated all at once. Teachers can come one step closer by using preventative strategies in the classroom. • One strategy that a teacher can use to combat racism is to take a good look at the materials and text used in the classroom. Many texts use only one culture when presenting information. This may send messages of inferiority of some and superiority of others. For example, texts that use pictures of predominantly white males contribute to the problem of racism by promoting stereotypes and prejudices.
Summary Contiuned • Texts instead should use a variety of books that represent various cultural and racial groups. • Texts should also promote equality of people with mental and physical disabilities, the gifted, the elderly and between the genders.
Summary Continued • Another strategy that can be used to combat racism is cooperative learning groups. • Group work exposes individual attitudes, ideas, experiences, and beliefs that are used to achieve a common goal. • Group work also opens the lines of communication between different group members despite race, sex, age or religion.
Summary Continued • A variety of active learning strategies can also be done to help eliminate racism. • Posters can be made condemning racism. There are also some posters that can be printed off some of the websites that follow. • Students can make up anti-racist songs. • Students can participate in plays that demonstrate how terrible racism is.
Summary Continued • Teachers need to make sure they are not being racist in their classrooms. Sometimes they might do it and not even realize it. • One way to prevent this is to respect student’s language. Teachers need to make sure they do not criticize or humiliate students who speak another language or do not speak English well. • Teachers could use the languages of the students to connect to their cultures.
Summary Continued • Teachers also need to recognize cultural diversity. • This could be done in many ways. One way can be to have multicultural days exploring different cultures, religions, and the history of different races.
Summary continued • Teachers also need to acknowledge background knowledge and experiences of the students. • Teachers need to have a desire to learn as much as they can about their students in order to be able to teach them better. • Some teachers tend to use the students’ life experiences as explanations for behavioral problems instead of to teach them better.
Summary Continued • There are many other activities teachers can use to combat racism. • Teachers can start using these strategies as early as Kindergarten; and maybe even earlier. • For more activities, lesson plans, and ideas about combating racism, you can explore the following websites.
Website One Racism, No Way! http://www.racismnoway.com.au • This website is an anti-racism education initiative managed by the Department of Education and Training on behave of education systems nationally. • This website is aimed at grades 4th-12th.
What can be found on this website? • Lesson ideas that support existing curriculum and anti-racism education initiatives. • Posters that can be printed • Games, quizzes, and puzzles for students (mainly for junior high and high school students) • This website will be useful for teachers and students.
Website Two Edchange http://www.edchange.org • This website is made from educators dedicated to equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice. • This website contributes to change in ourselves, our schools, and our society. • This will be a good website for everyone. • I found this website very helpful. I want to encourage everyone to navigate around the website.
What can be found on this website? • Lesson plans • Printable handouts • Multicultural activities • Diversity awareness quiz • Multicultural song index • Ice Breakers • Here are examples of what this site has to offer: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/activityarch.html
Website Three Find Articles http://www.findarticles.com • On this website you can type in any topic and get free articles about that topic. • Anyone can benefit from this site. • Here is an example of what can be found: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NQM/is_3_42/ai_108442647
Website Four Eric Digests http://www.ericdigests.org • Eric digests are short reports on topics of prime current interest in education. • It is useful for teachers, administrators, policy makers, and anyone else in the educational community. • Topics such as teaching, learning, special education, home schooling, racism, and many more can be found here.
Website 5 Prejudice, no way http://www.prejudicenoway.com.au • This website aims to assist students in grades K-3 develop knowledge and skills needed for anti-prejudice and anti-racism understandings. • This will be a good website for parents and teachers. • I found this website the most helpful of all. • This website gives stages students can go through for each grade.
What can be found on this website? • For each stage, there are activities that teachers can do with their students. There are also worksheets that can be printed off that go with the activities. • For example, in Kindergarten, stage two is recognizing similarities and differences. There are five activities to do with this stage. One of the activities is called “my family”. Here is an example of that activity: http://www.prejudicenoway.com.au/activities/2120.html
Print Resource One • This is a paper by Richard Morgan from the edchange website. • It gives methods and strategies to attempt to eliminate racism in the classroom. • It will be most useful for teachers http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/racism_morgan.html
Print Resource Two • This is an article by Izzy C. Kalman (who is a nationally certified school psychologist). • It will be useful for teachers, students, parents, and psychologists. • It is about insulting stereotypes; and how to turn enemies into friends. http://www.pacificnet.net/~mandel/TopicoftheWeek.html This is found on a free, non-profit website to help teachers. There is a link at the bottom of this article if you want to look at the website.
Conclusion Combating racism in the classroom is not going to be easy. It will be much easier if students start learning in Kindergarten that everyone is valued; and one person is not superior to another because of his or her race. I thought my website five, prejudice no way, was the most helpful. It had some wonderful ideas. I want to encourage everyone to take a good look at that website.
Reference Page Cross, Beverly E. (2003). Learning or unlearning racism: transferring teacher education curriculum to classroom practices. Retrieved October 30, 2007, from Find Articles Web site: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NQMP/is_3_42/ ai_108442647 Mitchell, Vernay. (2000). Curriculum and instruction to reduce racial conflict. New York, NY: Eric Clearinghouse on Urban Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 322274) Morgan, Richard. (n.d.) Eliminating racism in the classroom. Retrieved October 30, 2007, from Ed Change Web site: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/ papers/racism_morgan.html