How has the complex interplay of student differences, institutional racism and discrimination, teacher and societal biases led to low expectations, and unfair school policies and practices that affect our nation’s students and schools?
What are the short and long term effects of racism, prejudice, and discrimination for the field of education?
What structures do you see in your daily professional and personal life that limit the human education potential?
As an educational leader considering the interplay, effects, and structures addressed above, What implications do you see for school reform?
Length: 5 pages not including title and reference pages.
Referenced: Minimum of 3 scholarly resources.
Nieto and Bode (2012) suggest education must take on the challenge of no longer replicating societal inequities. Instead it is meant to reflect the ideals of democracy. However, they also write that our schools have consistently failed to provide an equitable education for students of all backgrounds and situations. Racism, prejudice and discrimination are defined and practiced in schools through education, school policies and institutional power. Nieto and Bode (2012) provide several studies that address issues of racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of discrimination in U.S. schools. They argue that overt acts of discrimination are only one way that racism manifests itself in the classroom. Racism can be as subtle as low expectations from teachers or turning a blind eye to discrimination in the school system. Nieto and Bode (2012) suggest that while teachers have little control over the environment outside the classroom, we do have a responsibility to advocate for our students. By addressing our own biases, challenging unfair school policies, resisting institutionally oppressive structures, breaking down barriers to equitable access to learning, and working to change policies and practices outside the classroom we can work toward a more equitable education system.
Nieto and Bode (2012) consider democracy, as theorized by Dewey and others, a liberatory practice. This conception of democratic teaching practices offers equitable opportunities for all students. Unfortunately, many students in U.S. schools are not given the opportunity to see themselves as equal citizens due to educational structures that limit their potential. These structural and organizational issues include tracking, retention, standardized testing, traditional curriculums and pedagogy, climate and physical structures, disciplinary policies, teachers and family and community have limited involvement. In this chapter, the reader is encouraged to examine each structure, using the most current research, in order to conceptualized multicultural school reform. As you read through your assigned reading for this activity, reflect on the following definitions from the text:
The attitudes and beliefs of individuals about entire groups of people. These attitudes and beliefs are generally, but not always, negative. Attitudes alone,
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