Race and Discipline- Week 8

3 things I learned:

  • Anyon’s study was really eye opening. I always knew on some level that there was a discrepancy between schools in lower income neighbourhoods and middle to higher income neighbourhoods in terms of resources and facilities.  What was really fascinating is how the teachers taught according to the perceived future of the kids, given their current family circumstances.
  • Lisa Delpit comments that children, when using certain programs are often labelled before they are even taught the concepts. How is that even fair?
  • The idea what a teacher may see as beneficial and a great tool to learning may not be accepted or seen as a good thing by her students. Deplit describes the student seeing the teacher as lazy because she has students edit each other’s work. Perhaps an explanation from the teacher about looking for the errors, helps all students become better writers might have changed the students mind.

2 aha moments

  • The idea of codes that need to be taught about the culture of power, as Delpit talks about. As part of the culture of power we often don’t see that we have codes because for us its is “common-sense”. We often fall into the trap of thinking if our students are born here, live in our city, that they live by the same codes. It may be true of those who are part of the power but for those who are not, the “common-sense” is not the same.  We need to be aware of making those assumptions.
  • I share the following not as a critique of the person in question, but simply as an observation based on the readings I read just a day or two before. I am not able to criticize because I am just learning, and most importantly I don’t know what went on in the situation before I entered, or after.  In the last week I noticed that unconscious, biases don’t always apply to race, but sometimes have a hierarchy. I observed a situation with a leader and children for approximately an hour.  In that hour I noticed the leader was notably harsher on the First Nations boys, then the white boys and the girls were treated more gently.   In my short time in the situation the boys in general were more well behaved than some of the girls. When behaviour for the boys was called into question, it was more of fidgeting nature, and they were asked to leave the group or threatened with being taken to the supervisor. The boys who presented as non-white were called out most often. If the girls were called out it was gentler, and they were not asked to leave the group.  Interesting to think about for sure. Again, this is an observation not a critique.

 

How do we as teachers recognize that we maybe unconsciously, unfairly over correcting children because of our personal prejudices?

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