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Just What is Critical Race Theory and What’s It Doing in a Nice Field Like Education?

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Abstract

Critical race theory (CRT) first emerged as a counterlegal scholarship to the positivistand liberal legal discourse of civil rights. This scholarly tradition argues against the slow pace of racial reform in the United States. Critical race theory begins with the notion that racism is normal in American society. It departs from mainstream legal scholarship by sometimes employing storytelling. It critiques liberalism and argues that Whites have been the primary beneficiaries of civil rights legislation.Since schooling in the USA purports to prepare citizens, CRT looks at how citizenship and race might interact. Critical race theory's usefulness in understanding education inequity is in its infancy. It requires a critique of some of the civil rights era's most cherished legal victories and educationalreform movements, such as multiculturalism. The paper concludes with words of caution about the use of CRT in education without a more thorough analysis of the legal literature upon which it is based.
... I am speaking about 'Whiteness' as a narcissistic existential orientation from which White people (some consciously, some unconsciously) view the world as a norm by which 'the other' (Said 1978) non-White person is judged. 'White narcissism' (Matias 2016) means White people seeing themselves only, as universal human beings who can represent all of human experience (Eddo-Lodge 2017;Delgado and Stefanic 2012;Di Angelo 2011;Gillborn 2008;Fanon 1963Fanon , 1967Fanon /2008Bhabha 2004;Ladson-Billings 1998;McIntyre 1997;Frankenburg 1993;Said 1978). ...
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This chapter states that the aims and contents of the Key Stage 2 primary school history curriculum for teaching and learning pupils aged 7-11 years old are exclusively Eurocentric for the cultural reproduction of White supremacy (Whiteness) in schools, classrooms, and society in general. Decolonising the curriculum is introduced as a concept that seeks to dismantle the dominance of 'Whiteness' in all phases of education. Typologies for decolonising the curriculum are presented as: the 'revolu-tionary approach'; the 'radical approach'; and, the 'gestural-superficial approach'. It is argued that decolonising the history curriculum is necessary for helping with repressing the increasing divisiveness of ethnic nationalism's political and social influence on society. This has been seen recently through 'Brexit'; the institutional ignorance understood by the 'Windrush Scandal'; and the egregious disparities of patient treatment according to racial group evidenced by Covid-19 research. Finally, a critical framework for decolonising the Key Stage 2 primary school history curriculum is shared as the focal point of this book.
... While it is common for non-Indigenous scholars to be involved in teaching Indigenous perspectives (Hollinsworth, 2016), and the challenges of such teaching are well described (Page et al., 2016;Ladson-Billings, 1998), the literature lacks a breadth of rigorous analysis regarding the efficacy and impact of different staffing or pedagogies on graduate cultural competency (Aberdeen et al, 2013;Nakata, Nakata, Keech, Bolt, 2014). Such research is mostly qualitative and often limited to the reported experiences of lecturers, rather than of students themselves (Durey et al., 2017;Hollinsworth, 2016;Jackson et al., 2013;Moodie & Patrick, 2017). ...
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The present study aimed to empirically evaluate the knowledges, attitudes and perspectives of pre-service teachers towards Indigenous peoples, and to identify relationships between student learning experiences and student knowledges, attitudes and preparedness to work with Indigenous peoples, at one Australian university. The project was part of a broader mixed-methods study utilising an Indigenous Graduate Attribute evaluation instrument developed by Indigenous scholars at another Australian university, hence we also present construct validation of the instrument for the present sample. The project identified that students entered the units with positive attitudes towards Indigenous peoples and knowledges and found value in their learning. Students reported that the units facilitated authentic engagement with Indigenous standpoints even though some educators were non-Indigenous. Visible pedagogical and content decisions such as Indigenous leadership in the course, collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff, professionally relevant learning opportunities, and engaging with Indigenous perspectives through assessment were all identified to be related to positive experiences of learning.
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Historically, psychological science has contributed to maintaining the hegemony of white normativity and a fallacious belief in objective science that speaks to one singular truth about race. Due to a widespread unfamiliarity with critical theories and research methods in the field, novel approaches to psychological scientific inquiry are warranted to support scholars in pursuing racially-just empirical inquiries with socially-just implications. This manuscript aims to (1) introduce an evolution from critical race theory in psychology to a set of principles to guide research praxis: PsyCrit and (2) demonstrate its utility through use in an exemplar qualitative study. Qualitative coding analysis of semi-structured interviews with four Black mothers and one Black father ( n = 5) participating in the Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race intervention was conducted to model the use of PsyCrit in practice and deepen our understanding of parent factors in Black families. This manuscript unpacks four aspects of the exemplar study utilizing four of the seven tenets of PsyCrit. The depth of analysis provided by the framework suggests that these principles may serve in guiding psychological researchers toward more nuanced investigations, especially as they relate to issues of race or racism.
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Objectives: This qualitative study explored dental student participants' understanding of racism, their experiences, and responses to racism in dental school, and the impacts of their experiences. Methods: An interpretative phenomenological analysis design recruited students from the undergraduate dental degree and the BSc in Oral Health Science course at a UK dental school in December 2020. Two students and a qualitative researcher facilitated the online focus groups. A topic guide including scenario questions guided the discussions that lasted an average of 2 h. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Twenty-five participants took part in five focus groups. Several themes emerged related to participants' experiences and reactions. They described a spectrum of racist encounters ranging from more subtle forms, such as stereotyping and microaggression to racial mocking. They were concerned about professionalism, not knowing how and when to respond to patients' racist behavior. They described gender discrimination and intersectional biases but felt compelled to put patients' interests first. They were unsure about how to respond to stereotyping or racism from staff because of perceived imbalances in the staff-patient-student triad relationship. They expressed fears of gaslighting and despondency. They also felt that the COVID-19 pandemic and anonymity from virtual learning environments enabled racist behavior. Conclusion: This study revealed a complex triad relationship between participants, staff and patients, and experience of intersectionality and three levels of racism: interpersonal, structural, and institutional. It highlighted the need for further research to develop actions including structural policies and equality and diversity training.
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As attention grows towards the disparities and underrepresentation of minoritized groups within undergraduate STEM education, there is a need for understanding how university calculus program stakeholders perceive the issue of increasing diversity. Calculus is a subject crucial to many STEM disciplines, and thus can play an outsized role in facilitating necessary change across STEM fields. We present a research-driven framework from a thematic analysis of interviews and focus groups with calculus program stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, and administrators) at two universities in the United States. The framework juxtaposes various stakeholders’ motivations for diversifying STEM fields along critical and dominant axes with four primary recipients that benefit from diversifying STEM. This framework prompts critical analysis of increasing access and achievement within the current system while also attending to the need to fundamentally change mathematical structures to bolster individual identities and increase the power of marginalized individuals in STEM disciplines.
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore the means, rationale, challenges and opportunities of shifting focus from anti-racist to pro-Black educational practice. The authors argue that while anti-racism is necessary, it is insufficient in addressing the deeply entrenched anti-Blackness in US society. The instructor and three student members of a graduate course on Black girlhoods reflect on their time together to better understand the process of developing a classroom specifically for Black students. Design/methodology/approach Through a process of collaborative autoethnography, the authors used their reflections as data to identify the practices that served to establish their space as pro-Black and consider how these practices may apply to other contexts. Findings The data presented indicate that co-construction, intentionality and care and love are integral to developing a pro-Black classroom. The implementation of these practices in the authors’ graduate course allowed the students to feel seen and affirmed, which contrasts with their previous experiences in higher education. Originality/value This paper introduces the concept of the pro-Black classroom space as a pedagogical transformation aimed at preserving Black lives. The authors’ insights demonstrate how concrete practices that not only constitute anti-racist practice, but further challenge anti-Black bias, help to dismantle structural and systemic inequities in academia.
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We are interested in how whiteness shaped one teacher’s abilities to engage his elementary school students in culturally responsive pedagogy, especially his abilities to engage or avoid conversations about race-based inequities in an integrated technology unit focused on NGSS disciplinary practices. We draw upon culturally responsive pedagogy, critical race theory, and critical whiteness studies to understand the role of whiteness in a single case study of integrated elementary science teaching leveraging electronic textiles technology. The case study reported here is part of a larger study investigating how technology integration supports justice-centered science learning for elementary school teachers and their students in the Intermountain Region of the USA. The authors are white and Latino and all, but one, are former classroom teachers. Drawing on multiple data sources (field notes of classroom observations, interviews, transcripts of video-recorded classroom sessions), we developed a single descriptive case to illustrate shifts in teacher practice over time. We documented one white, male, fifth grade teacher’s engagements with his students around issues of race as manifested in conversations about immigration, migration, and forced relocation in an integrated technology unit focused on NGSS disciplinary practices. This single case and the teacher perspectives it illustrates are resonant not only of our data but also the scholarly literature on white pre- and in-service teachers in the USA. We conclude with some practical recommendations for teacher professional development.
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This chapter will start by foregrounding my experience as a Black teacher first in primary schools and then as a lecturer. My experiences of being ‘othered’ and ‘gaslit’ by colleagues and people in positions of power were disappointing, saddening and stress-inducing. It further opened my eyes as to the performativity of their speech acts in which colleagues referred to me as an equal. This led to the question that if a Black, female lecturer, ostensibly in a position of power, could experience and then call out examples of racism, bias and unconscious bias enacted on them, what more so for a Black student. The contours of racism or contours of Whiteness will be discussed as a prelude to the discourse on racism and unconscious bias that underpins the experiences of the students. All this happened at a time when the United Kingdom and political class were in turmoil over Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union). Schools are microcosms of society; that is, the pupils and all staff come from society. So, if far-right rhetoric has become near-mainstream and normalised in society, then why should we be surprised to find it in schools?
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