In a 1968 classroom racism experiment, Jane Elliot told a group of third graders that blue-eyed people are smarter and better than brown-eyed people are. Jane Elliot went to become a national figure in the development of diversity training. Little did Jane Elliot know that her classroom racism experiment would form a primary example of racism in education.
Jane Elliot’s classroom racism experiment provides and example of how a teacher’s power dominates students in the classroom. Teachers have the power to coach students into making the choice that students accept the teachers racial values or suffer the consequences.
Racism in education begins at the preschool level. According to data attained from the United States Office of Civil Rights report, preschool Black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once, and 39 percent of all expulsions.
Racism in education does not stop there. The ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline provides another example of racism in education. This pipeline represents the academic and discipline policies that move Black children from the classroom to prison. Many children become victims of classroom racism. When the Black student and the White teacher become involved in classroom conflict the ensuing result is detrimental to the progress of the Black student.
We can surmise that racism in education has roots that pre-date Jane Elliot’s classroom racism experiment.
What about racism in education?
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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Published Book – Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools” ~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President