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ERIC Number: EJ1078762
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 35
One Black, One White: Power, White Privilege, & Creating Safe Spaces
Delano-Oriaran, Omobolade O.; Parks, Marguerite W.
Multicultural Education, v22 n3-4 p15-19 Spr-Sum 2015
This article explores the experiences of two professors as they teach about White privilege in predominately White institutions of higher education. The authors discuss how racial potentiality shapes the classroom climates of each of the professors and then present strategies that utilize safe spaces to navigate students away from the resistance they feel for this topic. The two professors discuss examples that demonstrate how White privilege creates resistance in the courses they teach when they confront students with it as a real phenomenon (Johnson, 2001). At first, the professors worked in isolation, where their frustrations built up until they had an opportunity to share their experiences and realize that they teach similar content (e.g., manifestations of racism, discrimination, heterosexism, White privilege, and social construction of race and identity development theory), use many of the same texts, and that most of their students are from similar backgrounds. This article shares their experiences of teaching White privilege in predominantly White institutions and explores how the authors believe their raced positionality brings different reactions in the classroom. Additionally, the article presents how this positionality shapes their respective instruction, pedagogy, interactions with students, and classroom climate, as well as the power dynamics that emerge within the classes (Maher & Tetreault, 1993; Tisdell, Hanley, & Taylor, 2000). The authors tell the stories of these teachers, present pedagogical implications, and share some of the strategies found helpful in developing "safe spaces." At the end, the authors separate and share a Black and White perspective as well as strategies they believe have increased the ability to engage in critical discussions of White privilege.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Whites, Racial Composition, Racial Bias, Social Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Power Structure, Classroom Environment, Interaction, Teaching Methods, Minority Group Teachers, Computer Mediated Communication, Group Discussion
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A