Critical Race Theory in Education

Introduction

Critical Race Theory is a ten-year-old educational theory that has had a profound effect on education theory and practice in the United States. Its premise is that race affects educational achievement in many ways, including achievement gaps between groups of people of different races and ethnic backgrounds. This book remains the definitive statement on the validity of critical race theory in education, both as a research tool and as a tentative philosophy about the future of education. Reading this text will introduce you to some of the ideas and research concerning critical race theory in education that has had a large influence on policy and practice.

The ten-year-old critical race theory in education is based on research by social scientists in education, and psychology, using data from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The main contributors to the book are Geraldfrey Glass, Lee B. Smith, Edward Sapir, James Akins, Jr., Melinda Blau, Rosemond J. Bradley, and Charles J. Heckman. Critical Race Theory was first adopted as a research program at the College of Education, University of Minnesota, in the early 1990s. The book has since been adopted throughout the country and has had widespread attention and discussion.

The ten chapters focus on three themes: an examination of why the concept of “racism” is used; an exploration of the various forms of racism; and the history of the use of the concept of critical thinking skills to challenge racism. These chapters also touch briefly on socio-cultural and political issues related to race, gender, and disability. The purpose of these chapters is to provide an explanation of how the concept of “racism” has developed over time and what its current purposes are.

What Is Racism?

Exploring the Development of a Curriculum framework For school teachers interested in critically examining race, there are two basic options that they have. They can use a curriculum based on biological differences between races or they can choose to construct a curriculum around cultural beliefs about race that are the foundation of the theory. Within the first option, many teachers have been successful in creating lesson plans and activities that teach children about their own and other people’s perspectives on differences, including their racial identity. With the second option, some teachers have found it necessary to add discussions of stereotypes and attitudes about race into the teaching curriculum.

Why Use the Concept of Critical Race Theory?

Teachers need a variety of resources to effectively teach the material covered in this curriculum. Because it is an educational theory, it must be made available in a way that ensures all students can understand it. In other words, a teacher cannot simply choose to use this concept and assume that all students will be able to recall it when it is needed. In addition, the concept is important in curriculum construction for several other reasons, including:

Ethnicity and Race:

The critical race theory suggests that some people are born genetically predisposed to racism and other institutionalized forms of racism. Other people may encounter racial prejudices that they can easily overcome through conscious effort or by simply surviving in a society that doesn’t automatically think and act in terms of racial distinctions. Even if the parents and other family members of a person with such a trait do not personally experience racism, they may inadvertently contribute to the development of this trait in their child. As such, teachers should make sure that the curriculum they use properly addresses issues of race and ethnicity.

White Supremacy and Critical Race Theory:

The idea of white supremacy is deeply intertwined with the study of history, specifically the impact of slavery on the minds and lives of African-Americans. Slavery was a horrific practice, and many people in the region that were located near the front lines of the Civil War served time in prison for their participation in it. As such, some people in the area did not know how to read or write except as a slave. These people learned basic skills by observing others who labored in their fields of expertise. In this way, the curriculum should reflect this oral tradition and allow students to draw from this oral history when debating the ideas of white supremacy and racism that permeate the United States.

Ethnic Studies and Critical Race Theory:

The concept of critical race theory is at the root of many discussions about how to curriculum develop content that will engage students of different ethnic backgrounds and perspectives. Educators need to teach their students about and be concerned with issues of equity, which include issues of ethnicity and culture when dealing with curriculum. For example, when reviewing a curriculum, teachers should look to see whether there is a discussion of cultural identities, especially when that curriculum focuses on the 2021 global contest. Themes like these should be highlighted in an instruction set and discussed in class, as well as taught throughout the entire school year. In doing so, students of different ethnic backgrounds can learn to see themselves as part of a collective group and can see how their particular cultural roots affect their thoughts and actions today.

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