The Monsters We Make: Unconscious Racism and Stereotype-based Teacher Expectations in the 21st Century Urban Classroom

9780984379446: The Monsters We Make: Unconscious Racism and Stereotype-based Teacher Expectations in the 21st Century Urban Classroom
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The majority of urban teachers in America (or those in other high-poverty, high-minority schools) may be extremely vulnerable to unconscious racial bias, much like various studies have confirmed that most Americans are. Unconscious (or implicit) racial bias is more prevalent in American society in general, and predictably more in the urban classroom in particular, than generally acknowledged. Sharon Begley identified that although many white Americans consider themselves unbiased, when unconscious stereotypes are measured, some 90% implicitly link blacks with negative traits [such as] dangerous or failure. Regrettably, Black and even Latino people also tend to have unconscious, internalized stereotype-based, anti-Black and Latino biases. Although we usually do not know enough about the Pygmalion effect to use it as a conscious and purposeful teaching tool, most teachers, wrote Robert Tauber, recognize that holding high or low expectations, and then acting on those expectations, can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what we typically don t recognize at all is the impact unconscious racial bias has on our expectations. The almost exclusively negative stereotypes unconsciously associated with ethnic minorities in America have collectively demonized these people for centuries and continue to do so. The most urgent problem is that now this demonization is discreetly occurring in most urban classrooms across America. Much of our perception and expectations of reality and other people are constructed psychically, mostly unconsciously, from the schemas we ve cognitively developed and internalized, including group schemas (i.e., stereotypes). The stereotypes we adopt about others are largely a byproduct of the emotions we feel about them. Research has proven that emotions affect the way that a person processes information; in other words, emotions can impact our most commonly used schemas. Fear, disgust, doubt, anger, disappointment, guilt, and frustration are all emotions that are frequently associated with negative feelings. But, as stated by George Fullerton, it is not alone to such specific emotions as those above-mentioned that we apply the term feeling. Thoughts are agreeable or disagreeable, pleasurable or painful. So are emotions. The agreeableness or disagreeableness, pleasantness or painfulness, which are the accompaniments of thoughts and emotions, have been called by modern psychologists their feeling-tone. Stereotypes are feeling-toned, or, in other words, emotion-laden. They are simultaneously a producer of emotions and a byproduct of emotions. The more emotional we become, particularly when these emotions are negative emotions, the more likely we are to subconsciously employ stereotypes against the source of these negative emotions. Stereotyping is our way of regaining control over our emotions, or at least rationalizing these emotions. Take a moment to consider some of the teacher emotions most commonly felt in the urban classroom. Did fear, disgust, doubt, anger, disappointment, guilt, and frustration come to mind? They probably did. All negative emotions that may result in stereotyping and stereotype-based expectations. Disappointment produces or perpetuates disappointing (i.e., inadequate, incompetent, inferior) stereotypes of whoever we are disappointed in. Emotionally flooding makes it easier for us to internalize the negative stereotypes associated with those we attribute our emotional flooding to. Once internalized, these stereotypes often become the basis for our student expectations and teaching behaviors.

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About the Author:

A native of Louisiana, Joseph Gibson received his Bachelor s degree in History from Grambling State University and a Master s degree in Educational Leadership from American InterContinental University. He also holds an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum/Instruction Management & Administration from Nova Southeastern University and is currently in their Doctoral program for Educational Leadership. Joseph proudly served for five years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, which included active leadership in homeland security operations following the September 11th attack and during the conflict in Iraq. During his near decade of teaching everything from high school physics to AP U.S. History, Joseph consistently implemented and trained his peers in innovative instructional strategies in order to maximize the learning opportunities of the urban student. Most recently he has worked in an administrative capacity in several high-poverty, high-minority Michigan schools focusing on research-based turnaround strategies, and currently serves as Principal of Mt Clemens Middle and High Schools. Joseph has published three titles under Pathways Global Press and is completing his fourth Teaching With Trauma in Mind. Joseph is a dynamic public speaker experienced in delivering noteworthy presentations on topics ranging from urban classroom management strategies to teaching social entrepreneurship in high-poverty schools.

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Joseph R. Gibson
Published by Pathways Global Press/KITABU Publishing, LLC (2013)
ISBN 10: 0984379444 ISBN 13: 9780984379446
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Book Description Pathways Global Press/KITABU Publishing, LLC, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0984379444

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