The Challanges Faced by White Teachers Teaching Black Students

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Given the changing racial demographics of our nation’s schools (with the white population increasingly becoming the minority) and that the main role of our teachers, most of whom are white, is shaping the education of our students, the question is: How can white teachers effectively teach students of color? Although little is known about the effectiveness of white teachers and achievement in students of color, there definitely is an underlying philosophy of multicultural education that students benefit from being taught by someone of similar race and cultural background. That being said and understood, the question remains: With the majority of teachers (those already teaching and those in college to become teachers) being white, how can we actually meet the educational needs of our students of color? Can white teachers honestly and openly examine their own cultural identity and confront race and racism in themselves and LEARN how to teach students of color effectively? How does an ethnic group who has been historically dominant in our society change to a more modest or balanced role in order to teach effectively? These questions, and many more, have long been a part of the agenda for multicultural education but are recently coming more clearly into focus. Most of the work and studies in race relations and teaching in a multicultural environment in the U.S. have put an emphasis on the unique cultural experiences and perspectives of Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American groups. These are the groups that have historically been marginalized in various ways by the repeated asserted dominance by American people of European backgrounds. As the populations of the U.S. changes to take in even larger numbers of those groups... ... middle of paper ... ...cessful she must find a place of humility and active engagement in her own continual growth and reformation. She must acknowledge her own inevitable privilege and racism as she works tirelessly to dismantle white culture’s legacy of dominance. She must realize that it is her place and her responsibility to engage issue of race and multicultural education in her life and in her classroom. And finally, she must celebrate herself as an educator and celebrate every moment spent in self- reflection regarding her practice, no matter how difficult it may be, because this reflection will, no doubt, make her a better educator. Works Cited Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria. McIntosh, Peggy. White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies

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