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Getting teachers on board

HCRL's picture

I found Kumashiro's section of "Anti-Oppressive Education" to be extremely compelling. He very clearly explains his ideas on what is currently happening in (most) schools, and what education reformers need to focus their efforts on:

 "The question for educational reformers is not whether schools should be addressing issues of oppression. Schools are always and already addressing oppression, often by reinforcing it or at least allowing it to continue playing out unchallenged, and often without realizing that they are doing so. The question needs to be how schools should be differently addressing issues of oppression.”  (XXXVI)

For a while, I have been thinking about how most teachers would respond to this statement, or the general idea that most schools currently reify oppression. Would teachers take offense to this? Would they agree with this? Would they strongly disagree? I ask this question because teachers are the ones who have the most direct contact with students, and thus their viewpoint on the need multicultural education, or the lack of a need is incredibly important. I imagine that most teachers would not be very pleased to hear that they have been contributing to oppression of underprivileged students in their classrooms, but it is so important for teachers to know that in order to move forward and employ the techniques that Kumashiro discusses, such as correcting harmful knowledge of other students, or challenging larger societal privilege dynamics. I hope that later in his book Kumashiro speaks about how to best get teachers believing in the importance of this work. 


*Apologies for the late post!*