Critical Race Theory
Recognizing students’ race as an important sociocultural context to be considered within educational policy and practice requires educators to challenge existing assumptions about race and culture and to accept that racism is entrenched in American history; that social, legal, and economic policies or structures exist that subordinate people of color and privileges whites (Horsford, 2010b). Critical race theory provides a critical analysis of the relationship between policy, structures, and race (Crenshaw, 2011). CRT defines race as socially constructed (Ladson-Billings, 1997) and should be considered as a “difference which exist[s] only in society [and that] makes sense only in relationship to other racial categories, having no meaningful independent existence” (Lopez, 2000, p.171). Committing to equity in education without discussing race is impossible. Educational leaders must understand that schools can reproduce the structures of power and privilege and that working to combat oppression or inequities by virtue of perceived deficits associated with social class, race, or ethnic heritage is an ever-evolving and continuing process that necessitates a personal commitment to critical discourse (Capper, 2015). It is one thing to examine race and culture, in an attempt to understand how it plays out in schools and classrooms; it is something else to engage in the practice of developing and maintaining an educational system with anti-oppressive, anti-racist agenda. Critical race theorists analyze education and race through various tenets, such as structures within the educational system that contribute to pervasive racism as evidenced in the essential re-segregation of schools (Dixson & Rousseau, 2006). School administrators and instructional staff are obliged to take into consideration that traditional curriculum and assessments employ knowledge hegemony in which white culture is ordinary, affirmative, and ideal where the foundation for learning is assumed to be common among all students (Ford & Quinn, 2010; Laughter, 2011; Levine-Rasky, 2012), a tenet known as Whiteness as property (Aggarwal, 2016; Annamma, 2014; Harris, 1993). CRT criticizes the color-blindness approach as ignoring the cultural experiences of students and applying a one standard for all practice replete with biases (Capper, 2015).....
Submitted: Jul 06, 2021