Educational Racism

Topics: High school, Education, Secondary school Pages: 15 (5434 words) Published: May 11, 2005

It is my hypothesis that diverse backgrounds have a great effect on the ability for a student to learn. I am not suggesting that a student from one background is less likely to learn than the student from a completely different background. I do predict that if educators do not take to heart the diverse backgrounds of their students at both the lower and upper levels of education than the student will suffer in one degree or another.

My focus group will be highschool and college students with an emphasis on those who are in the junior class of both institutions. I will take a small sample of each student group and the educators who are responsible for them. I initially planned on studying only highschool students but in my collection of information I found that diversity issues are rising in numbers at institutes of higher education on a profoundly widespread basis.

Some issues that I will explore will be:
1.What role has racism as well as sexism and classism played in the American educational system? 2.Are educators receiving more education concerning diversity issues now than in the last 10 years and if so why? 3.Is this training consistent and widespread?

4.How does diversity affect the students learning abiltity from both the student and teachers perspective? 5.Is it possible that a teacher who has nothing in common with their students to effectively teach and nurture the student? 6.What can be done to bridge the gap between students and teachers.

After exploring the above-mentioned items in great depth, I will then look at ways to either improve or implement the way that diversity issues are currently being handled. I have chosen this topic because as a person enrolled in an institute of higher learning and the mother of children who are currently enrolled in a public school system I am concerned that for to long we have turned a deaf ear as well as a blind eye to issues that could potentially affect us as a society in the long run.

Racism, which is defined by the Webster School Dictionary as "A claim unfounded in scientific fact, that any race is superior to another"(p 586). For many years, people have tried to understand what is at the heart of racism. To understand racism entirely would be an educational experience in itself. Racism has been engrained into our social fabric for a very long time and has inevitably found its way into the educational system. Brown V. Board Of Education was a milestone educational case. It was bought against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education by a father on behalf of his daughter whom he had tried to enroll in an all white school to prevent her from walking a great distance. During the ruling, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the courts decision and below is an excerpt: We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does...We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

This ruling brought about an end to segregation of students. It was no longer constitutional to separate students because of their race. Although, this was a very great and essential ruling, it only changed things in the educational system to a certain extent. I say to a certain extent because although that and other rulings have changed the system on the surface those rulings cannot and probably have not had an effect on every individual's mindsets. Racism is not only a way...

Cited: Blum, John (1995). Beyond Prescriptive Pedogogy. Journal Of Teacher Education. 46, 3, 28.
Brown, Benjamin, (1958). Desegragation and the Supreme Court. Boston: Heath and Company.
Carter, Lavonne. Personal Interview. Conducted on March 7, 2005.
Character Counts. Retrieved on May 5,2005.
Collins, William (1974). The Pocket Webster School and Office Dictionary. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Statistical Information. Retrived on March, 15 2005.
Volland, Charles. Personal Inteview. Conducted on April 3, 2005.
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