NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1023452
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
"There's a Problem, and We've Got to Face It": How Staff Members Wrestled with Race in an Urban High School
Buehler, Jennifer
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v16 n5 p629-652 2013
Educators who initiate school reform work often find that attempts to raise student achievement and change school culture are derailed when staff members refuse to address issues of race. At the same time, staff members who collectively resist engaging in discussions of racism and racial inequality may be actively involved in their own individual processes of "wrestling with race". This was the case at an urban high school in the US where staff members were engaged in a reform effort designed to change "toxic" school culture. Staff members' collective refusal to examine racial discipline and achievement patterns masked the ways in which individuals struggled privately with a variety of race-based questions, tensions, and dilemmas. In a school where references to race were routinely encoded in forms of everyday talk, staff members positioned students and each other racially, read their colleagues' interactions with students and each other through a racialized lens, and formed social networks around racial ideology. This racial basis of interaction kept race in the forefront of many staff members' minds, even as they outwardly denied that race was a significant issue in the school. My analysis will show that when left unaddressed, educators' private struggles with race contributed to racial tension among staff members and students. On the other hand, when those private struggles were acknowledged, supported, and explored, they could lead to important forms of racial learning and progress on school reform.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A