As students can easily learn anything at the click of a button these days, it becomes more and more important that a school function as a community of learners. Otherwise, it's just more efficient to stay home and stare at a screen.
Culturally Responsive Teaching is especially important in an International Baccalaureate school and our focus on teaching culture is one benefit of attending her. However, not all schools are like this. Sometimes teachers are afraid to talk race. Sometimes teachers are blind to it. This may be convenient, but it is unwise.
Although the idea of race is bogus, the cultural impact of it is not. Just recently students in a class that was discussing the racist element of imperialism waved their MAP score graph printouts at me and asked "Why are Asians smarter?" (This article was retweeted by an academic today. Caution: Language)
Understanding race as a construct that shapes your classrooms and the lives of the students is one of the most iimportant things you can do to become more culturally responsive. However, you need to be prepared. This article is the most useful one to me:
The concept of Stages of Racial Identity Development is also useful for both teachers and students in understanding how viewpoints can differ as part of normal development based on racial identity. More on that idea here
More Useful Resources on Teaching Race:
For the Teacher:
Talking about Race: Learning about Racism The Application of Racial Identity Theory in the Classroom (PDF)
More on Dr. Beverly Tatum:
This blog is a compendium of District and Piedmont -specific PD opportunities, trainings, and notes.