What Happens When Students Are in the Minority: Experiences that Impact Human Performance

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9781607093947: What Happens When Students Are in the Minority: Experiences that Impact Human Performance
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When people find themselves as the minorities in different situations, they often feel as if they have been placed onstage with a spotlight on them. Consequently, they become prisoners of anxiety, and engage in certain predictable, negative behaviors. Owing to sheer anxiety and mental overload, these situational minorities often find themselves behaving unintelligently. This book uses real-life experiences of diverse people to illustrate that, if not understood and addressed, situational minorities at school or work are unlikely to perform at their highest potentials. This book is for anyone who wants to understand human behavior and performance: why minorities struggle in majority schools, or why the only male or female on the team has to overcome a mental barrier in order to catch up.

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About the Author:

Charles B. Hutchison is an associate professor of education at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is the author of Teaching in America and Teaching Diverse Learners with Basic Principles. He has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, and the United States. His research interests include crosscultural cognition, diversity, and global issues in education. He can be reached at chutchis@uncc.edu.

Review:

This book offers insight into the personal narratives of those who have had 'minority experiences' within multiple contexts. The narratives speak to the ways that we tend to experience and make meaning of―through place, space, and time―being 'othered.' Furthermore, it provides important implications for parents, teachers, and school administrators on ways to support youth, particularly youth of color, who have developed personal identities as members of minority groups. This clearly written and insightful book is a proudly significant addition to educators' reading list. (Thurman Bridges, Teachers College, Columbia University)

Having come to the United States in the sixties, I was accepted to participate in one of the earliest, and still functioning, programs for integrating the white boarding schools of New England. The writing and personal experiences of Dr. Hutchison ring true my post-episodial reflections of being one of a few students of color in a predominantly white environment. There were no reference points or manuals to guide my character and personality development, because being among the first, my success or failure became the standard by which those who followed would be judged. Code switching was a natural and essential tool for survival while moving linguistically from the patois of Jamaica, the streets of Harlem, and the grammatical correctness of prep school. Hutchison speaks of the 'invisible sword' that wounds deeply. As part of my history, it took many years to fully understand the depth of the wounds, but it made me more visible, and more willing to make a difference. (Patrick StClair Chang, multicultural advocate, Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas, Inc., Charlotte, NC)

Hutchison approaches this topic in an original way and adds a valuable contribution to furthering educators' understanding and knowledge of how minority status affects performance. Recommended. (CHOICE, March 2010)

What Happens When Students Are in the Minority provides a diverse and cross-cultural compendium of the minority phenomenon. With comprehensive coverage, practical interventions, and a wide variety of independent, real life experiences, this book is the first aid in the comprehension of human behaviors. Educators, politicians, social and health workers, and spiritual leaders will find this book very useful. (William Joseph Ntow, University of California at Davis)

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