Critical Race Theory

1. What is Critical Race Theory? (in a sentence)

Set of basic perspectives, methods, and pedagogy that seeks to identify, analyze, and transform those structural and cultural aspects of society that maintain the subordination of people of color

2. How does formal curriculum typically portray African & Native Americans? (2-3 sentences, from the text)

Formal curriculum typically portrays African Americans as “slaves, inferior to whites, or had no impact on American history.” They are also seen as “lazy or dangerous” Native Americans are usually portrayed as “primitive, savage, frozen in time with face paint, and arrows.” It is important to note that these groups of people often are seen to have little historical significance.

3. What is the dominant means by which society receives its racial messages? (2-3 sentences, from the text)

The dominance means by which society receives its racial messages is in the classroom from the teacher or the textbook, whether it is positive or negative. White teachers inherently obtain social privileges that often manifest into biases in the classroom, these biases can be picked up by the students they are teaching and reproduced into society. Also with textbooks play  a huge role in the cultural understanding mainly because they are the dominant instructional tool used in social studies classrooms.

4. How can education promote personal awareness of biases? (2-3 paragraphs, your opinion)

It starts with teachers. In America, teachers are predominantly white from middle class backgrounds. As mentioned before, they carry social privileges and may still carry prejudice or ignorance surrounding marginalized groups of people in American history. Teachers NEED to both recognize and address these implicit biases because history is taught from the personal perceptions of the teacher. In my opinion, teachers need to do  a lot of research on the history of marginalized group of people and see history from their perspective so teachers can bring this perspective into the classroom for their students. Because at the end of the day, all of the history of these groups is AMERICAN history, not just the history form an Anglo-American perspective

Students also have biases and it is important for the teacher to recognize the stereotypes and biases that influence student learning. As Justin mentioned in class, only having a side box in the textbook about say, “women’s history” or small paragraph about Frederick Douglass or Tecumseh, this can be a teachable moment for the class. I loved what the article said about presenting the CONTRIBUTIONS that African Americans and Native Americans have made to society rather just saying they were slaves and savages. Also presenting Native Americans in a more contemporary and dynamic perspective. This can greatly change the personal awareness of students’ biases


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