We are at a point when we need to critically examine why anti-racist teaching is a crucial component of institutional and social change. How can White educators teach anti-racism if they are out of touch with the systemic racism and biases that Black children are so familiar with? The Village Method is here to provide answers and contribute to the quest for social justice.
Anti-racist teaching is an invaluable tool that can disrupt the widespread influence of white supremacy. By incorporating teaching practices centered around systemic racism and Social Emotional Learning, we might have a great chance to undo racism and racial trauma. If after-school programs could implement anti-racist pedagogy, so can schools.
However, we have a long way to go. Awareness and personal reflection are a must. Find out the 4 ways to promote anti-racist teaching in schools!
#1: Address White Privilege Right Away
Bursting the bubble of systemic racism in education is achievable. What we need to focus on is teaching and learning all there is to know about the color lines that continue to divide us. The average White student attends schools where 77% of the student body is of their race. The same cannot be said for Black or Hispanic students.
An openly anti-racist educator must actively pursue the subject of race and equity work. Although they might not have direct experience of what it means to be subjected to systemic racism in education, they can surely learn from others. Racial and social justice are synonymous with a solid knowledge of minorities’ histories. Culturally affirming after-school programs are already starting to explore the richness of diverse cultures and traditions.
When we aim to address White privilege, we must first take a look at the history of segregation in education. The Brown v. Board of Education landmark decision came almost a hundred years after the end of the Civil War. Its main goal was to end racial segregation. It demanded that our children enjoyed equal educational opportunities. However, inequality in education remains an issue.
#2: Implement Critical Race Theory in Schools
Anti-Critical Race Theory bills are slowing down the overall efforts of anti-racist teaching. Systemic racism in education is rampant. Furthermore, all institutions are unjust towards people of color. An anti-racist curriculum must include this valuable piece of information.
Professor and lawyer Derrick Bell is one of the central figures of the Critical Race Theory movement. He challenged the legal system and was motivated by the multitude of school desegregation cases he’d encountered throughout his career. His undeniable genius paved the way for the possibility of teaching Critical Race Theory in schools.
We recommend that you read his 1980 article from the Harvard Law Review titled ‘Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma’. Sadly, you might find it extremely relevant and evocative of what our children are battling against right now. It suffices to say that the banning of Critical Race Theory in schools is unjust and meant to normalize systemic racism in education.
#3: Teach African-American History Respectfully and Accurately
When was the last time our children were given some enlightening information about Frederick Douglass in History class? We would be surprised and pleased if that was the case. Most likely, our children are taught that Africans migrated to the U.S. which completely ruins our attempt at racial justice in the classroom.
An anti-racist teaching practice requires deep critical thinking. Students deserve to understand the significance of being taught the real version of events. Reading literature that points out the violations of our ancestors’ human rights will connect students and serve as an opportunity for classroom discussions.
The anti-racist approach hides nothing from our children’s sight. Instead, it nurtures them and enables them to consistently identify racial biases in their day-to-day experiences. This active process of self-awareness is ultimately empowering.
From kindergarten to higher education, Social Emotional Learning and the teaching of our people’s achievements, not only their struggles, can motivate our children to revolutionize organizational structures as adults. The social construct is inescapable, and therefore it needs to be acknowledged.
#4: Make Use of the Social Emotional Learning Framework
The emotional toll of racism speaks volumes about the need for Social Emotional Learning in schools. Young people are overwhelmed by the constant systemic injustice that they are subjected to. Social Emotional Learning encourages self-reflection and teaches our youth how to improve their mental health and make use of soft skills in order to succeed at school and in their future careers.
Promote Anti-Racist Pedagogy Starting Today!
Our 4 ways of promoting anti-racist pedagogy will surely help parents, educators, and students navigate the ever-changing social and educational landscapes. Engaging students in anti-racist teaching is the optimal way to give a voice to minorities and fight systemic racism in education. White privilege is something that should never be taken lightly.
The Village Method is an active supporter of anti-racist teaching. We represent one of the few culturally empowering after-school programs that are currently available for our youth. If you resonate with our mission, make sure to get involved! It takes a village to raise a child!