The Other Elephant in the (Class)Room: White Liberalism and the Persistence of Racism in Education (Paperback)

The Other Elephant in the (Class)Room: White Liberalism and the Persistence of Racism in Education By Cheryl E. Matias (Editor), Paul C. Gorski (Editor) Cover Image
By Cheryl E. Matias (Editor), Paul C. Gorski (Editor)
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Purposeful, intentional racial bias poses an obvious threat to the possibility of real equity in schools. In this volume, antiracist educators explore an equally troubling, but insufficiently explored threat: the racism upheld by schools and districts that claim an antiracist commitment. These institutions perpetuate disparities by enacting that commitment through surface-level and soft diversity and inclusion goals and popular initiatives that are more equity optics than antiracism. This book asks: How is racism perpetuated through actions, programs, practices, and initiatives that might appear to be inclusion-oriented or "progressive," but never quite get around to eliminating racism? How do these efforts pose as racial equity while protecting systems of advantage and disadvantage--creating a sort of equity inertia? The book then asks: What would antiracism look like if we enacted a deeper antiracist approach? What is a truer vision for racial equity? Diverse authors apply these questions to an equally diverse assortment of programs and practices, such as trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, restorative practices, anti-bias work in early childhood education, Montessori schooling, "inclusive" social studies curricula, and toxic positivity and "niceness" as stand-ins for racial equity.

Book Features:

  • Illustrates how K-12 educators can adopt more authentically justice-oriented approaches to antiracism.
  • Draws on existing theoretical frameworks such as critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, culturally sustaining pedagogies, and equity literacy.
  • Examines concepts such as white fragility, racial battle fatigue, white privilege, and interest convergence.
  • Includes a range of authors, from racial justice scholars to classroom teachers.
  • Offers an engaging and accessible format that combines narrative with theoretical grounding, bridging critical analysis to visions for moving forward.

About the Author

Cheryl E. Matias is a full professor in the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego. Paul C. Gorski is the founder of the Equity Literacy Institute and author of Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap, Second Edition.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780807768822
ISBN-10: 0807768820
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2023
Pages: 216
Language: English