Racism in Canadian Schools (Teaching and Learning)

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Annotated Bibliography

Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

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  • Carr, P. R. (1999). Transforming the institution, or institutionalizing the transformation?: Anti-racism and equity in education in toronto. McGill Journal of Education, 34(1), 49-77.Permalink.svg Permalink

Reports on the manner in which the Toronto (Canada) Board of Education responded to racial diversity and anti-racist education from 1970 to 1995. Highlights three findings: (1) the evolutionary nature of attempts to deal with equity issues; (2) the systemic nature of discrimination; and (3) the inability to clearly define anti-racist education and equity.

  • Ghosh, R. (2008). Racism: A hidden curriculum. Education Canada, 48(4), 26-29.Permalink.svg Permalink

In the contemporary world, racism is a pervasive and destructive social force both in Canada and internationally, and it is on the rise since 9/11. Although a lot of people know what racism is, many do not understand it in the same way. In this article, the author discusses a number of related concepts of racism which, in abstract social categories, can be interpreted differently. The author then shows how the implications of these constructs reveal themselves, overtly or covertly, in educational settings through the hidden curriculum and act to maintain a discriminatory learning environment. Finally, the author explores the role of education in combating racism. (Contains 12 notes.)

  • Han, H. (2011). "Love your china" and evangelise: Religion, nationalism, racism and immigrant settlement in canada. Ethnography and Education, 6(1), 61-79.Permalink.svg Permalink

This paper explores how race, religion and national origin intersect in one transnational context. In an educational ethnography, I encountered a discourse that called for overseas Chinese to convert and evangelise other Chinese (in China), which won many followers in Canada. Using Critical Race Theory and the notion of "intersectionality," I analyse the shared understandings of race and national identity, and the shared experience of institutionalised discrimination in everyday life in this community. I suggest that sanctioned and enabled by Canadian "banal nationalism" and racism, structural discrimination against racialised minority immigrants contributes to difficulties they experience in settlement. Intersecting with racism and banal nationalism, Christian evangelism offers many Chinese immigrants an alternative frame to understand the meaning and purpose of immigration and of living as racialised immigrants. Implications for immigrant settlement and for education in general are discussed.

  • Johnson, L., Joshee, R., & ebrary, I. (2007). Multicultural education policies in canada and the united states. Vancouver: UBC Press.Ubc-elink.png

This volume is dedicated to a cross-border dialogue on the development and impact of multicultural policies in Canada and in the united Stated.

  • Klassen, T. R., & Carr, P. D. (1997). Different perceptions of race in education: Racial minority and white teachers. Canadian Journal of Education, 22(1), 67-81.Permalink.svg Permalink

Perceptions of white and racial minority teachers about antiracist education in the Toronto (Canada) public schools were studied in an overall sample of 70 teachers and a specifically minority sample of 22. White teachers are generally less supportive of antiracist education that attempts to shape the institutional culture of schools.

  • Lund, D. E. (2006). Rocking the racism boat: School-based activists speak out on denial and avoidance. Race, Ethnicity & Education, 9(2), 203-221.Permalink.svg Permalink

The present study seeks insights from current school activists on the tendency of educators and others to engage in denial and avoidance when discussing issues surrounding racism, and how that affects the daily work on social justice projects in schools. The author outlines contemporary and historical aspects of the denial of racism in Canada, and a problematic lack of engagement of school-based activists, especially young people, in the academic literature, particularly related to their role as active participants in social justice movements. This research repositions student and teacher activist roles in schools and in educational research itself. Excerpts from in-depth interviews with 11 student and teacher participants include the understandings of those who choose to engage in social justice work in actual school settings, and offer new insights into theoretical and practical considerations regarding the denial and avoidance of racism in schools.

  • Lund, D. E., & Carr, P. R. (2010). Exposing privilege and racism in "the great white north": Tackling whiteness and identity issues in Canadian education. Multicultural Perspectives, 12(4), 229-234.Permalink.svg Permalink

This article talks about a collaborative "Great White North" project which began through a chance meeting of the authors at the annual meeting of the "National Association for Multicultural Education" (NAME) in Atlanta in November of 2005. The authors are two White males from Canada of about the same age (late 40s) who have both been involved in anti-racism education for over two decades each. They believe that being White includes a responsibility to better understand the complex ways Whiteness works to oppress others, and their goal with the project has been to challenge oppression through an analysis of racialized privileges. Part of their purpose with this Whiteness project was to trouble the perceived quiet complacency within Canada to expose the many underlying inequities people typically refuse to acknowledge. The resulting text builds on a desire to examine Whiteness directly while avoiding reifying its centrality in multicultural education. Prior to the publication of the authors' edited collection (Carr & Lund, 2007), they were surprised at the strong negative reaction of some people to their studying Whiteness as a way of challenging racism in Canada. To balance the negative backlash to the project, the authors note that it has received some positive recognition. They hope that the plurality of views put forward through their project will fuel an important conversation and stimulate further activism in eradicating racism and other forms of oppression.

  • McMahon, B. (2007). Educational administrators' conceptions of whiteness, anti-racism and social justice. Journal of Educational Administration, 45(6), 684-696.Permalink.svg Permalink

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the intersections of whiteness, anti-racism and social justice in educational administration. It is an attempt to understand how white administrators who work in racially minoritized school communities reconcile the moral challenges of articulations of racial equity with the hierarchical institutions of schooling. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative study asks ten white administrators how they understand themselves as raced, the ways they see race operating at individual and institutional levels in schools and districts, and factors that facilitate and/or hinder social justice work as it pertains to race. Findings: The data indicates that whiteness is a difficult subject for white administrators, even those who agreed to be interviewed about whiteness, racism, equity and social justice. As agents of the school districts where they are employed, the administrators generally view these issues from an organizational perspective that does not challenge hegemonic structures. They typically understand social justice from non-critical perspectives, see whiteness at the level of the individual, racism as unacceptable individual acts, and multiculturalism as preferable to anti-racism. Research limitations/implications: The findings cannot be generalized; however, they show that academic education and certification programs need to be revised in order to prepare administrators to deal with issues of locatedness and difference. Originality/value: The study is set in a Canadian context where, in spite of overwhelming evidence that visible minority students are marginalized in and by school policies and practices, racism is often overtly and emphatically conceptualized as a phenomenon that happens in other times and places.

  • Razack, S. (1993). Story-telling for social change. Gender and Education, 5(1), 55-70.Permalink.svg Permalink

Discusses the role of story-telling in the political empowerment of the oppressed. Describes how the uncritical reliance on stories has led to the failure in the classroom to acknowledge the risks taken by various oppressed groups when they attempt to critically reflect and build coalitions.

  • Razack, S. (1994). What is to be gained by looking white people in the eye? culture, race, and gender in cases of sexual violence. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 19(4), 894-923.Permalink.svg Permalink

Explores the cultural context of victims of sexual violence and their attackers by focusing on the webs of domination in which women are caught. The author suggests that women of color in North America who talk about sexual violence in court are still subjected to the arrogant gaze of imperialism, racism, and sexism.

  • Razack, S. H. (1998). Looking white people in the eye: Gender, race, and culture in courtrooms and classrooms.Permalink.svg Permalink

This book challenges the widely held view that relations between dominant and subordinate groups can be unmarked by histories of oppression, as many cultural diversity theorists, educators, and legal practitioners presume. In this view, problems of communication are mere technical glitches caused by cultural and other differences, and educators and legal practitioners need only learn various "cross-cultural" strategies to manage these differences. What makes the cultural differences approach so inadequate in the classroom is not that it is wrong, because people in reality do have culturally specific practices that must be taken into account, but that its emphasis on cultural diversity too often descends to a superficial reading of differences that makes power relations invisible and keeps dominant cultural norms in place. This book examines how relations of domination and subordination stubbornly regulate encounters in the classroom and courtroom and shape what can be known, thought, and said. Essays focus on intertwining systems of domination--capitalism, patriarchy, and White supremacy--as they affect the experiences of Canadian Aboriginal women, other Canadian minority groups, and women with developmental disabilities in college classrooms and in court cases involving sexual assault and immigration issues.

  • Skerrett, A. (2008). Racializing educational change: Melting pot and mosaic influences on educational policy and practice. Journal of Educational Change, 9(3), 261-280.Permalink.svg Permalink

This article racializes educational change by examining literature on the history of educational approaches to diversity in the United States and Ontario, Canada to demonstrate how their respective national myths for engaging with diversity--the melting pot and mosaic--have impacted their educational policies and practices over three definable eras of educational change. The educational policies and practices of the two countries are evaluated in relation to four significant and--within the existing literature--widely used political and educational strategies for responding to racial and ethnocultural diversity in schools. The paper cautions that the current era of curriculum standardization and high stakes assessments that reflects a melting pot approach to education reinstitutes and reinforces an inequitable vertical mosaic structure of schooling experiences and outcomes for diverse student populations. It urges policy makers to consider how the current movement toward post-standardization, which reflects a mosaic approach, is presently influencing educational policy and practice in international contexts and achieving more just and effective learning outcomes for diverse student groups.

  • Solomon, P., Portelli, J., Daniel, B., & Campbell, A. (2005). The discourse of denial: How white teacher candidates construct race, racism and "white privilege". Race, Ethnicity and Education, 8(2), 147-169.Permalink.svg Permalink

This qualitative study focuses on a representative sample from 200 teacher candidates' responses to Peggy McIntosh's article, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." The notion and understanding of whiteness and white privilege were explored revealing several strategies that teacher candidates employed to avoid addressing whiteness and its attendant privileges in Canadian society. We analyse three primary strategies that the teacher candidates employed: ideological incongruence, liberalist notions of individualism and meritocracy, and the negation of white capital. Some implications of this study are that teacher education must help candidates understand their own racial identity formation and provide the learning space to work with the range of emotions and feelings of indignation that evolve from an exposure to white privilege and the "myth of meritocracy."

  • Underwood, K. (2012). A case study of exclusion on the basis of behaviour (and experiences of migration and racialisation). International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16(3), 313-329.Permalink.svg Permalink

Dwayne is a Grade 6 student who came to Canada from Jamaica at the age of seven. Upon arrival in a new school Dwayne had to adapt to a new culture. In addition, Dwayne was identified as having severe behavioural problems and learning difficulties, and it was recommended within the first month of school that the boy be medicated in order for him to cope. His mother refused. Through interviewing Dwayne's mother and his teacher, a case study details Dwayne's experiences of schooling in as a result of segregation and in a non-segregated classroom setting. The story of Dwayne illustrates how experiences of disablement are interrelated with experiences of migration and racialisation. The article makes a case for understanding inclusive education practice as well as the construction of disability as central to understanding systemic exclusion through special education.

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