According to a recent article, unconscious racism is the cause for the continued hatred amongst different ethnicities. Many scholars, civic organizations, and civic leaders seek to determine how rid this world of the evils associated with racism. Eliminating classroom racism (Elcloomism) provides the optimum opportunity to resolve the perpetual effects of unconscious racism.
According to the article, the roots of racism begin when a child is 5 years old. Without the support of racism, these same children tend to have a reduction in their racist view points. The author believes that this transformation happens because children become more in tune to principles of fairness and social justice.
The reality is that the education system is a vehicle of support for unconscious racism. This support begins in preschool and continues through high school.
What vehicles continue to support unconscious racism?
The first vehicle that supports unconscious racism is school discipline. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Black children represent 18% of preschool enrollment, while representing 48% of preschool children receiving more than one out-of school suspension. Alternatively, White students represent 43% of preschool enrollment but only 26% of preschool children receiving more than one out of school suspension.
Teachers discriminate against students by implementing differential discipline. Teachers with high percentages of Black students in their classroom are more likely to use an authoritarian classroom management approach. Teachers react to Black student learning experiences that are in opposition to traditional public schools by determining Blacks are incapable of following simple rules and therefore make rules that they deem intolerable. Teachers justify this over disciplining Black students by believing with the belief that these students want to be disciplined and have some order in their lives.
Teachers spend more time looking for possible misbehavior by Black students, especially males, and are more prone to respond to Black student behavior by using severe punishments that include corporal punishment and suspensions.
The second vehicle that supports unconscious racism is teacher discrimination. Teachers are more likely to have negative academic and behavioral expectations regarding Black students compared to expectations of White students. White teachers have more negative attitudes toward Black children and rate Black students more negatively when compared to White students. White teachers rate Black male children more deviant when compared to White children. White teachers direct more criticism toward Black males and rate Black male children personalities more negatively when compared to White male children. White teachers perceive White students more positively when compared to Black students. European American teachers favor other students rather than Black students. European Americans have favorable attitudes toward Mexican Americans compared to Blacks and are more likely to accept Mexican Americans compared to Blacks due to Mexican Americans having a closer skin color to European Americans.
A third vehicle that support unconscious racism is classroom discrimination. Discrimination against marginalized students is a persistent problem in classrooms throughout the United States. Teachers discriminate against students who are not White, male, and middle class. White teachers create classroom problems when they interpret culture as a limitation to student progress. When cultural awareness between White teachers and Black students is absent, the impending result is interference with effective instructional processes caused by frustration and alienation between White teachers and Black students. Black students have difficulty accepting teachers as the primary source of knowledge due to becoming accustomed to sharing information on an equal basis with adults rather than the adult teaching them. Teachers treat Black high school students as though they are incapable decision makers that require their permission to do everything even though the student has had experience caring for younger brothers and sisters, teaching them safety and personal hygiene skills, and taking care of the home. Black students withdraw from the instructional process or become discontented with whatever the teacher does when the teacher hinders student spontaneity and enthusiasm and punishes the student by requiring the student to raise his or her hand in order to be recognized.
The highly regimented and formalized school setting is diametrically opposed to Black students’ learning experiences. Black children believe people in the school are more important than the school concept and place a higher emphasis on people, particularly teachers, rather than school physical aspects. Schools require Black students to demonstrate achievement by writing, which requires Black students to transition from demonstrating by oral or dramatic expression activities that Black students are more comfortable with and more likely to have higher achievement levels. Verbal learning and written demonstration are consistent with mainstream American and European student mastery that is contrary to culturally different student learning styles.
The only way to eliminate the effects associated with unconscious racism is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President