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ERIC Number: ED405407
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
School Reform: Challenging the Race Orthodoxy.
Fenwick, Leslie T.
A pathological image of the African American has infiltrated U.S. education. With desegregation and the arrival of African American children in white America's schools has come the application of psychological and educational labels that create and constrain the educational experiences of the African American child. These labels have not evolved in an ideological vacuum. They reflect the nature of schools as sites of unequal distribution of economic and cultural capital and they hide the profound interrelations of people, marking the black student as deviant and inferior. Schools then succeed with convincing the disinherited that they owe their destiny to their lack of gifts or merits. Labels and categories of deviance such as "at risk" leave educators with the impression that in order for the African American student to succeed, he or she must be exposed to various and repeated treatments. The approach contends that the African American student comes to school with a natural resistance to learning. Schools become agencies of negative credentials, certifying particular groups of young people as socially inferior at an early age. Such labels actually endanger the very students they purport to empower. Until the way that everyday school practices endorse existing control systems is questioned and challenged, African American students will continue to be on the sidelines. (Contains 12 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A