ERIC Number: ED446069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-28
Reflections of a White Teacher Teaching a Course on Racism.
This paper describes the experiences of a white university professor who taught two courses on race and racism at a local high school. Both classes included very diverse students. He attempted to be an anti-racist role model for all students, and he worked to make the classroom a safe space for students to talk. He showed respect, caring, and interest in all students and encouraged students to do the same. He found that African-American students were quite willing to challenge him, and he had to determine how to handle that. Some students, mostly but not only white students, felt uncomfortable by the racial critique that other students made of him. The professor struggled to overcome his own stereotypes as he worked with the students and listened to their opinions on race and racism. At one point, his whiteness played a role in the misinterpretation of a film on racism, and the students helped him see his error. He used the occasion to discuss the existence of race-based limitations on understanding, how and when it is constructive to charge someone with such limitation, and what would be a proper and constructive response to such a charge. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).