Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz addresses bias and inequality in education and explains how teachers can be agents of change.
Addressing Bias and Inequality in Education
“It becomes harder and harder… to realize this idea that all children are geniuses, due to the huge gap in terms of who’s teaching and who’s in most of America’s public schools.”
🔵 In navigating the complexities of our society, we must address issues such as poverty, sexism, racism, homophobia, and political polarization.
🔵 Unconscious biases in education: A study showed that teachers, regardless of race or class, tend to anticipate misbehavior from black boys, emphasizing the need to address and challenge these biases in the classroom.
“We cannot address differences as privilege for some and marginalization for the other.”
🔵 Teachers should consult with students, family members, and other teachers of color to understand the potential impact of their decisions and the curriculum.
“The very system that we’re a part of, particularly in education, is broken not only from the context of the ways in which it was first created in public education but the ways in which it’s just hella problematic today, particularly for young black and brown folks in the communities out of which they’re a part of.”
Empathy and Belonging in the Classroom
🟣 Viewing ourselves as wounded healers can help increase empathy and create a sense of belonging in the classroom, contributing to the goal of dismantling inequality and fostering diversity.
🟣 Teachers play a crucial role in creating a space for all children to have the lives they deserve, emphasizing the importance of seeing children as human beings.
🟣 Teachers have the opportunity to model emotional tone and behavior for students, creating a safe and secure environment where students can be themselves.
🟣 Teachers need to be prepared to address the diverse facets of their students’ identities and create inclusive curriculum that makes all children feel included and seen.
🟣 The revelation of the self is the most beautiful part of the journey in education, allowing teachers and students to learn more about who they are.
Teachers as Agents of Change
🟢 Teachers have the power to make a difference in fostering diversity and combating inequality within the education system.
🟢 Despite policies that go against diversity, inclusion, and belonging, teachers must continue to invite diverse perspectives and children into their classrooms.
🟢 Building racial literacy requires reaching out for help and support, lifting up the voices of others, particularly people of color, and critically reflecting on our own identities, privilege, and marginalized status.