Louise Derman-Sparks and Carol Brunson Phillips? Teaching/Learning Antiracism offers a curious glimpse into a course aimed at fighting racism. The co-authors provide the reader with an approach to combating racism in the classroom — with theoretical background as well as practical strategies for achieving this end. While I was initially confused about how this text might relate to a course on special education, it soon became clear that racism, like ADD and LD, imposes a severe limitation on the ability of many students to learn in a typical classroom.
The text begins with a startling, yet quite appropriate, theoretical stance towards the problem of racism. Later, this theory is used to justify the pedagogical approach of these two teachers in their actual classroom. Much of the theory used in the beginning of this text is reminiscent of a classic text on racism called The Nature of Prejudice, written some fifty years ago. The authors clearly lay out some of the evidence indicating that we still live in a racist society. They also account for the rationalizations behind racism and the historical basis for many of the modern forms of racism that continue to persist.
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