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ERIC Number: ED513809
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Life for Minority Professors of Special Education Ain't Been No Crystal Stair
Gentry, Ruben
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children (33rd, St. Louis, MO, Nov 2-6, 2010)
To expect an "easy life" as a professor of special education is to expect what never was nor never will be. But when the playing field is uneven for minorities, or even worse, when it is not even recognized that the playing field is uneven, there is cause for action. For example, Bonner (2004) stated that minority faculty face tremendous challenges (including racism) in achieving tenure and promotion; Lovell (2004) countered that several of the experiences lamented by Bonner commonly happen to white faculty as well. It seemed not to be recognized that racism can negatively impact all of the necessary activities and accomplishments to earn tenure and promotion. The journey to becoming a professor of special education is long and tedious. It is making good grades in college for admission to a reputable graduate program, obtaining suitable employment in a promising university, becoming a successful teacher, being of service to students, and most certainly, launching a record of scholarship. Monumental effort is required of anyone to prevail at these focal points, but for minorities, additional hurdles creep into the picture. In addition to racism, they face major economic situations, personal and family issues, and lack of information that interfere with their pursuit of professional training; there is a matter of focusing on the "right" things (e.g., balancing teaching, research, and service) in employment; and then there is the struggle to obtain the wherewithal to do the things to become a success. Ways and means must be accorded to make life more palatable for minority professors of special education. America needs well prepared and qualified teachers to educate exceptional children in its schools and minority professors play a significant role in the process. Meanwhile, the challenge to minority professors is -- Though the path may be laden with tacks, splinters, boards torn up, and no carpet on the floor, keep climbing, reaching, turning, and sometimes going in the dark, for life will not necessarily be a "crystal stair" (Hughes, n.d.); keep reaching until every child with a disability is provided an appropriate education. This presentation reflects on the challenges and issues that minority professors face and yet their desire and determination to succeed in higher education. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A