Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Equity & Diversity Opinion

How to Best Address Race and Racism in the Classroom

By Larry Ferlazzo — June 21, 2022 6 min read
People rally ahead of a school board vote in Newberg, Ore., on whether to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags at the school in September 2021.
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During the summer, I am sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 11 years. You can see all those collections from the first 10 years here.

Today’s theme is race and racism in schools. You can see the list following this excerpt from one such post:

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1. ‘What Are You Doing to Help Students Understand Systemic Racism and Combat It?’

Creating the conditions for effective dialogues and incorporating student voice are two ways to help students become anti-racist. Read more.

2. Anti-Racist Teaching Strategies for Predominantly White Schools

Creating common vocabulary and safe places for students and strengthening their critical-analysis skills support anti-racist teaching. Read more.

3. Want Students to ‘Build a Better World?’ Try Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Learning

The practice includes expanding students’ networks and developing their awareness of what it feels, looks, and sounds like to manage emotions. Read more.

4. Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Learning: How to Get There

Bringing culturally responsive SEL into class can’t be done as an add-on. It needs to be integrated into daily routines and academic work. Read more.

5. Teaching About Slavery in the United States? Start With Honesty

Strategies have to include teachers acknowledging what they don’t know and recognizing they have to convey some ugly truths. Read more.

6. ‘Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success'—An Interview With Author Christopher Emdin

The author talks about student rights in the classroom, student discovery of knowledge, and viewing students through the asset lens. Read more.

7. ‘Students Deserve to Know Our History’

Two educators wrap up a four-part series on how teachers should respond to attacks on critical race theory and lessons on systemic racism. Read more.

8. Connect With Colleagues to Counter Critical Race Theory Critics

Three educators discuss how teachers respond to the CRT controversy, including urging administrators to create “space” for collaboration. Read more.

9. Educators Should ‘Teach the Truth to Young People’ in Response to Conservative Attacks

Three educators offer suggestions about how to respond to attacks on their ability to teach about systemic racism. Read more.

10. When It Comes to Critical Race Theory, Teachers ‘Should Go on Offense With Inquiry’

Four educators respond to conservative attacks on critical race theory and lessons on systemic racism. Read more.

More Q&A posts about race and racism in schools:


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The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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