Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Education’s Diversity Dilemma: What Can Be Done | the becoming radical

Education’s Diversity Dilemma: What Can Be Done | the becoming radical:

Education’s Diversity Dilemma: What Can Be Done

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My 18 years as a public high school teacher and current 15 years as a university professor have one dilemma in common: diversity.
At the K-12 level, many schools struggle to recruit and maintain a diverse faculty; while universities often face a lack of diversity in both faculty and students.
The teaching staff at the rural South Carolina school where I taught was nearly all white, working-class, and essentially all Christian. Once we hired an outstanding woman to teach science; she happened to be a native of India and Hindu.
The culture in the school was so toxic to her diversity, that she left—or better phrased, she was run off by the implicit and direct messages of the people and the culture of the school.
My university has recently confronted the low percentage of women faculty as well as concerns about faulty and student diversity.
At our opening faculty retreat focusing on diversity and inclusion, a female faculty member expressed concern over the time and energy needed to address pronoun preferences to be sensitive to gender identity and/or gender expression.
Concurrently, several faculty expressed surprise that complimenting black faculty or students for being “articulate” is racist and offensive.
More pervasive, however, was the demand that we not proceed with diversity initiatives without definingdiversity, and that always included concerns about reducing diversity to race. Both of these strategies bound to the norms of academia, in effect, marginalize the power of privilege (many whites have been and are hiredEducation’s Diversity Dilemma: What Can Be Done | the becoming radical:

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