Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break newsletter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world that's spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
Sign up now to save time and stay informed!

K-12 Educators Taught How to Combat 'Whiteness' in Schools

You have to feel for Social Justice Warriors. No matter how hard they try, they just can't get away from white people.

They're everywhere! Why, you even find them in the supermarket, at the movie theater, and -- worst of all -- in schools. Where our children go to be educated. Where our kids should be sheltered from the depredations and poisonous proclivities that all white people possess.

It makes one weep to think about all this white privilege on display for our children and other delicate flowers to be offended by.

Thankfully, Columbia University wants to do something about it. The Ivy League college -- one of America's most celebrated universities -- held a conference for K-12 educators that featured workshops on ho to combat the evil of white privilege in our schools.

The Campus Fix:

The “Reimagining Education Summer Institute” conference, organized by Columbia University’s Teachers College, was held in mid-July and concentrated on “opportunities and challenges of creating and sustaining racially, ethnically and socio-economically integrated schools,” according to its  website.

The event, in its second year, drew 300 participants that mostly consisted of K-12 teachers and principals, the institute’s director Amy Wells said in a phone interview with The College Fix. The four-day conference included plenary sessions, dozens of workshops and dialogue sessions.

One presentation, called “Whiteness in schools,” provided “a history of Whiteness, and will invite participants into a discussion of how Whiteness and White culture shapes what happens in schools,” according to a description.

One workshop discussed “3 ways to face white privilege in the classroom.” Presented by Teachers College postdoctoral fellow Jamila Lyiscott, a summary of the workshop states it included “activities and critical dialogue around White privilege to connect personal responsibility to pedagogical possibilities for the classroom.”

And a workshop on “Teaching for Social Justice” sought to challenge colonialist and racist pedagogies.

“We will challenge Eurocentric pedagogical approaches that not only under-prepare students for the realities of our increasingly multiethnic, multilingual, globalized society, but are also rooted in colonial and racist ideologies that stifle the voices, identities, and realities of students of color,” a description states.

There was also a “Deconstructing Racial Microaggressions” workshop in which attendees pledged to address racial insults at their schools.

Institute director Wells, a professor of sociology and education at the Teachers College, said the conference came about out of her belief that the “missing piece” regarding issues of integration in education is what goes on inside the classroom.

“It’s always about getting kids into the building and I just think … we’re always missing the educators who actually do the work and who actually interact with the kids on daily basis and help them understand race in terms of how they’re relating to other students,” she said.