Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Courageous Conversations about Race - Part 2

As a leader, how do you engage in conversations about race?

Many educators struggle to take personal and professional responsibility when it comes to meeting the needs of students of color who are not succeeding.  Instead, they tend to focus on factors external to the school for explaining why students' low achievement rather than examining their own instructional practices.

Addressing the impact of race in education is not a "feel good" experience.  Nor is it an attempt to make White educators feel guilty, promote pity for people of color, or extract revenge on their behalf.  The use of Courageous Conversation provides the foundation for a systemic strategy to build responsibility through more thorough and authentic personal inquiry and engagement by educators, students, families, and the broader community.  Educators participate in this difficult work for the sake of their students.  Schools need to become places where effective education is guaranteed to every child. 

From:  Courageous Conversations about Race by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton
Published by: Corwin Press


  1. I have noticed - two days of postings about courageous conversations about race.....and yet there are few comments posted. Are we afraid to have the conversations on this blog? If we are, what does that say about us as leaders?

  2. Heather Gollob11 May 2011 at 15:58

    I'm not afraid...we need to look to our history in Canada to understand that there has been systemic issues of bigotry and prejudice over decades. We can look at examples such as the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. The isolation of blacks in Nova Scotia. Or, the residential schools...
    Our classrooms are the children of the world and each and every one of them has a voice that needs to be heard. With a social justice focus students will find their voice and be able to take pride and celebrate their culture with everyone. As educators, we must ensure that our classrooms provide a safe haven for students to express their fears and to question limits and barriers that they face because of their race or religion. Honest and open dialogue brings the issues to the forefront and gives permission to everyone to question, confront, and ultimately take an active role in moving from "talking" to "doing" something about ensuring that our most at-risk students are achieving success.