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ERIC Number: ED444978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 43
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Taking It Personally: Encountering Racism in a Cultural Diversity Course.
Berlak, Ann
This paper describes a crisis that occurred within a course for preservice and inservice teachers, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity. The crisis occurred when students were asked to confront the effects of racism on themselves and the children they teach. It was provoked by a guest presentation by a militant African-American classroom teacher who teaches poor African-American and Chinese immigrant children. Her presentation challenged and destabilized the way that most class members saw themselves and the roles they were playing or likely to play as teachers in reproducing and transforming the existing racial, linguistic, and socioeconomic hierarchies. The result was violent anger, hurt, and argument on the part of many of the predominantly white students. However, as they processed the presentation and examined their reactions over time, the students began to see what the guest speaker was trying to tell them about white privilege and racism and why they had reacted the way they did to the speaker's rage. The presentation and resulting processing even affected how the course's teacher thought about racial dynamics and teaching about racism. (Contains 36 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A