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