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June 06 , 2010

Classroom Voices on Education and Race

Students Speak From Inside the Belly of the Beast


Classroom Voices on Education and Race presents core educational issues— with an emphasis on race and the racial achievement gap, school culture, and curriculum—through the unfiltered and poignant voices of high school students. Students from urban, rural, and suburban public schools express a strong desire for a more active role in their classrooms, as well as for a curriculum that is more responsive to their world.

Current students speak out against an increasingly complex and demanding world in which standardized testing serves to detach students from their learning and from their peers. They bear witness to increasingly competitive, content-driven classrooms that minimize open communication and critical thinking, and instead foster a culture of and cheating. And, they expose a hidden curriculum that contradicts the learning expectations of formal education. In particular, they speak to the persistence of racial stereotypes and segregation. Burdened by ignorance and misunderstandings, students address the need for honest racial dialogue facilitated by adults in their desire to cross the racial divide. Educators must listen to the voices from their classrooms in order to better participate in the lives and education of their students.
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