When the word equity comes to mind most people think of property real-estate, material wealth, or monetary gain as equity for most but seldom is it used within education. Yes, equity exist within education for all people but a select few may disagree, minority students of color don’t see education as an interest that can add value to their lives. Much good and bad can be said about higher education for minority students of color but it is an opportunity to gain access to the world and a different variety of ethnic and social groups that can help you advance your career in academia and even adding a plethora of networks to your arsenal.
When you can see equity but not impartiality in education it tends to create a disconnect for those who would try commit to the vigorous process of learning. Dubois for example a great academic scholar even alludes this disparity that impartiality does not exist in education when he describes the talented tenth. The talented tenth suggest that only a select few 10 percent will go on to be great after their academic career is finished hence he described the talented tenth.
Most minority students of color knowing the claims against education will never feel as though education is equity a personal investment for themselves due to the impartiality that exist within. We can look at the history of education in America and see the struggle to get access amongst minority students of color, then when students of color get access to education it remains inadequate for non-white students. So blacks are forced to integrate white schools due to lack of funding and resources schools of color deal with.
Bell hook even mentions her experience as not being so pleasant when she had to integrate an all-white school. The major questions posed is that what does impartiality look like in higher learning or even better does it even exist for minority students of color within the educational system. When we look at race simultaneously within education and try to find impartiality within it you will not. Race was designed to separate Blacks from Whites, and to this day it still is in the forefront as one of the factors for why education has a bias against students of color i. e. African American.
Institutions of higher learning on all grade levels still remain separate and unequal which breeds segregation amongst the minorities of color and white students giving those students a 20th century viewpoint of Americas history of unjust racial discrimination back in the 1960’s as bell hook mentioned in her book Teaching to Transgress …says that “Those who wanted to make racial equality a reality in every area of their life were a threat to the social order” Constructing of race in society trickled down into education which perpetuated the stereotype that students of color could not compete with their white counterparts.
In order to combat race within education is to understand the history of America which is the dynamics of oppression. In our class discussions we discuss articles that give examples some personal and some broad of the disparities within education and some solutions to fix these problems. According to Kumashiro’s “Theories and Practices of Anti-Oppression Education” there are four ways to fight oppression in education:
1. Educate for the other (understanding your peer’s perspective) 2. Educate about the other (understanding the history of your peers) 3. Educate Critical of privileging and othering (understanding the dynamics of social order that tend to take away the impartialities within education. 4. Educate changing students and Society (understanding the tactics used within the education you will be equipped to change minds in order for the betterment of communities and society as a whole). Focusing on the fourth practice educating students to change oneself and society, were students of color are taught to adjust to society norms, a disadvantage of power of race in education.
In order to start to eradicate race in education one must first work on the issues of race in America, removing the notion of a majority race, and wanting growth to be evident amongst the individuals who are at the lowest educational level. When we look at gender in education we look at it through a feminist perspective of how women are treated especially women of color who have been at the front of racial bias within society and education. Gender disparities are usually critiqued in such a way that look at the student’s individual attitudes towards learning and behavior in school.
The lens in which we evaluate gender in education shows no impartiality in education for minority students of color because it uses race to construct racist norms, and stereotypes which make it hard to circumvent the data gathered. This allows, what is called gender segregation that discourage those who would apply for certain jobs, due to the stereotypes of bias against leadership ability simply because of the individual’s gender role. Questions that have been implemented by the hegemony of America suggest what is masculine and feminine perceptions with in society play a big role in academia.
These perceptions of stereotypes such as women are nurses and are not fit to be in leadership as well as men are not to become nurses are the exact reasons why impartiality doesn’t exist in gender among minority students within education. Power and politics in the production of knowledge, created by male dominant whites who created marginalized groups using gender as a mechanism to keep minorities segregated form whites in society and education. The usage of class in education does not breed impartiality for students of color due to a low socioeconomic status.
Minority students of color who come from a low or poor socioeconomic status will develop at a much slower rate, from being under resourced which affects the students’ academic career. Leaving students with little to no academic support when needed, or the financial resources necessary to acquire help that is much needed not to mention teachers are not as well- qualified as they should be in low income areas. The factors of impartiality do not exist within class which are created from a lack of treatment to students of color psychological health.
Learning related behavioral issues, stemming from a child’s low socioeconomic status, which festers disinterest in school, family stress and poverty can also cause emotional distress and / or depression in minority students of color. Among race, gender and class impartiality does not exist for minority students The illusion of inclusion always comes to mind, not to say that education it can not solve problems of race, gender, and class, but it is assumed naturally by getting an education you level the playing field.
Are minority students then products of those whose values are rooted in segregation and biases that distance one’s self from the community in which they lived. Carter G. Woodson’s “The Mis-Education of the Negro is talking about such an existence within the students of color that they are taught to love everyone else’s cultural but not his own further perpetuating a false sense of impartiality. Education must be used as the key to empower, and free all minority students from colonial and segregated thinking about race, gender, and class.
Educators are responsible for doing unbiased work that can help all students develop to his or her fullest potential also to empower the teacher to remove themselves, personal bias, which will provide a better way to examine and free their understandings of minority students of color. In addition to help teachers understand their role within the students’ lives and also to prompt more of a self-reflective responsibility in understanding themselves and how crucial their roles are in empowering and freeing themselves from biased thinking as well.
Gloria Watkins the writer of bell hooks Teaching to Transgress agrees that the teacher is the one that will empower and free students by intentionally “Sharing in the intellectual and spiritual growth of students” in order to use education as a tool to empower and free students from mundane and racist thinking educators must choose to adopt conditions where learning can intimately and deeply begin to empower and free the minds of all students. When education is used to empower and free the minds of students it is only then when all students both of color and non-color are able to dismantle the repressive social forms.
They have been awakened to see through the lens of equality and impartiality, adjusting the critical thinking skills to solutions for white supremacy, and Patriarchy in education. Education for minority students of color has always been designed to maintain black subservience. It is use of education that has promoted white supremacy and it will be education that dismantles it as well. Students must challenge the status quo of racism as a whole and individually, and they also must address institutional and cultural racism every chance they can get.
It will be minority students of color who lead the way addressing that connection between power to race, racism, oppression, gender and class which will unfold the micro aggressions of white supremacy in education. Patriarchy, has been the story of America since the beginning of time, and knows no limits and has no conformity to change. Patriarchy just does not describe the male’s interaction of domination within society but also how it is dominated through organizations and especially with in education.
Minority male students of color can lead the way by addressing those frameworks that make patriarchal ideas, holding each other accountable and taking responsibility to challenge the negative stereotypes that have formulated and knowing that patriarchy has no gender. In addressing the lack of impartiality and equity in education through the lens of a black male student, I would pouch for curriculum to be changed to where it will acknowledge and describe the impact that various ethnic groups have contributed to ending racism, not just in higher education society but in society as well.
This tactic of changing curriculum for students of color would represent them in a positive light instead of focusing on the inadequacies that promote and strengthen societal bias. Cooperative learning is another great example to incorporate group learning based on group performance versus the individual performance. Almost every experience and aspect of thinking in society about minority students of color must be challenged in order for systematic changes to take place in academia and society.
This will enable minority students of color to have successful academic careers which will motivate more students of color to pursue a degree in higher education. For those who are in academia already can take the skills, lessons, and achievements earned and begin to make themselves better, their communities livable free from poverty. In response society must and will change but only when students of color feel like there is equity and impartiality in education.