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Education

Columbia University Hosts Conference to Fight Whiteness in Education

Written by Joe Scudder

Whiteness seems to be a big problem for some people and they want to help teachers deal with it.

It’s hard to express how insane it is to prioritize whiteness as a problem in American schools. Are these people suggesting that non-white races would be better off in their own exclusive schools? That would be ironic. Looking at these graphs, it seems the “achievement gap” between blacks and whites was narrowing until the late eighties and then started widening again. Was whiteness less of a presence in education in the late eighties?

Nevertheless, Columbia University’s Teachers College put together the “Reimagining Education Summer Institute” conference.

The College Fix reports, “Conference teaches K-12 educators how to combat ‘whiteness in schools’

The event, in its second year, drew 300 participants that mostly consisted of K-12 teachers and principals, the institute’s director Amy Wells said in a phone interview with The College Fix. The four-day conference included plenary sessions, dozens of workshops and dialogue sessions.

One presentation, called “Whiteness in schools,” provided “a history of Whiteness, and will invite participants into a discussion of how Whiteness and White culture shapes what happens in schools,” according to a description.

One workshop discussed “3 ways to face white privilege in the classroom.” Presented by Teachers College postdoctoral fellow Jamila Lyiscott, a summary of the workshop states it included “activities and critical dialogue around White privilege to connect personal responsibility to pedagogical possibilities for the classroom.”

And a workshop on “Teaching for Social Justice” sought to challenge colonialist and racist pedagogies.

Read the entire story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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