U.S. society is plagued with racial injustices, and the schooling experiences of children, are no exception to this reality. In an attempt to examine how teachers address race in their multicultural education classrooms, this presenter will introduce and analyze various well-intended teaching dispositions that teachers often embrace, but are nonetheless limited in their abilities to address the racial inequities students face in schools. These teaching dispositions include the “The Detached Teacher,” “The Deficit Thinker,” and the “Rugged Multicultural Teacher”. Within this analysis, the presenter will demonstrate that even the most robust multicultural teaching agendas are often limited in their capacity to transform social justice issues. Finally, this presenter will provide suggestions on how to conceptualize teachers’ multicultural work, so that we may understand both the possibilities and the impossibilities of addressing race in a multicultural education class.
Addressing Race and Power through Language Ideology/Attitudes in the Classroom: Revisiting Critical Language Scholarship
Literature in composition and critical language studies identify progressive moments of interest in language equity/rights in the classroom followed by back-lash and a return to conservative practices/values. These shifts mirror political shifts more broadly and illustrate the connection between language attitudes in the classroom and racist, classist, gendered systems of oppression in our country. Take for example, the political climate of the 60s and 70s that produced Students’ Rights To Their Own Language (SRTOL), followed by the conservative return to mechanical correctness and “back-to-basics” in the 80s. As our current political context is marked by a conservative majority in the House and Senate, the increasing incidence of hate crimes nationally, and the rolling back of social gains, it is important for teachers to prepare for increased dominant/standard language ideologies in our classrooms so we can respond appropriately. To navigate these complexities and provide support for one another, this presenter will invite a discussion of dominant language ideologies as expressed in the writing classroom and the language attitudes/stances that support (or reject) critical language engagement and equitable language practice with students.
Not Making America Great: Addressing Racist Rhetoric Against
Mexicans and African Americans
With little doubt, we live in a racist society. Although the hatred/fear affects all people, this hatred/fear especially targets Brown and Black people. This presenter will address the “Trump Effect” by examining various racist incidents against Brown/Black individuals over the last few years and theorize why these incidents are becoming more frequent. This presentation will feature videos, online posts, pictures, and tweets that capture the severity and explicitness of many racial incidents. More importantly, this presenter will posit the roles of researchers, rhetoricians, and writing instructors to confront these critical issues in their classrooms, with their colleagues, and in their research.