Summary Of Jan Arminio 's ' Essay

Summary Of Jan Arminio 's ' Essay

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Jan Arminio’s (2013, p. 126) concept of white luck, the idea that “it’s easier to be at the right place at the right time, to have things go your way” if you are white, reminded me of a conversation I once had with my grandfather Jack Willis. Jack grew up in poverty on the coast of North Carolina. He lived in a one-room shack near the coast with his mother and brothers and spent his childhood fishing in the ocean to provide the family with food. At eighteen Jack joined the navy, where he befriended a fellow sailor whose father was a higher-up at Bell Helicopter in Texas. Jack was told to contact his friend’s father for work upon returning to the United States. He spent the next several decades working his way up the company ladder and taking night classes (paid for by Bell) to earn a college degree. Jack was able to retire early, and his final position as an engineer had allowed him to save enough money to move back to the North Carolina coast. He was also able to afford to have his dream house built on an acre of land on the banks of the White Oak river.
Jack told me this story when I visited him two years ago. Sitting on his back porch, watching schools of fish swim by the dock where his small fishing boat was anchored, we were discussing my reasons for pursuing a career as a science teacher. I described what I knew about the achievement gap in the sciences between white male students and their female peers and peers of color. I told him that I want to encourage young women and students of color to pursue careers in science, or to at least open up STEM careers as options to consider. My grandfather responded by telling me about working his way from absolute poverty to a secure upper-middle class life. He spoke about his firm ...

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... they don’t believe this difference is negative), it will be that much harder for them to comprehend how race is socially constructed. As a science teacher, by partnering with other teachers within the school my students can learn why people have different skin colors in the first place, as well as how these skin colors became the basis of the social construction of race. This can lead to larger discussions about the persisting legacy of slavery and the many ways that students and their families have been impacted by race through the generations. My hope is that with a better understanding of the biological basis of skin color, students can better understand what teachers mean when they talk about race as a social construction, and understand that there are no real biological differences between students of different races – only different histories and experiences.

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