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  • Bias and Equity Training

    Help me out here.

    I am taking my annual training and this is a test question "T or F - Children from marginalized groups who are taught by teachers who look like them tend to be more successful."

    How would you answer and why.

    FTR: I have already completed the class, so this is not cheating. I want a honest and open discussion.
    Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

  • #2
    I say False....Growing up, my family taught us how to treat 'people', and this is the learning we carried throughout our school/college experiences. It's about relationships with 'people' not what they look like. We were taught early on to treat 'people' like we wanted to be treated and what treatment was inappropriate regardless of what a person looked like...there was no divide in 'people' from my family's standpoint.

    Comment


    • #3
      If I were taking this test for a class with that title, I would answer True. Based on articles I’ve read about studies done on the subject, most studies seem to say that students respond better to teachers that look like them, so it seems that is the answer the test would be looking for. I’ve never seen the line “all other things being equal” regarding training, style, education, experience, etc. in any of the articles, though…

      Comment


      • #4
        The test answer was true.

        As an older provider (almost 50) who personally remembers having heard people from a couple generations ago using that exact same reason for not wanting schools desegregated , it made my skin crawl, my heart race and the hair stand up on my arms.

        It still isn't sitting well with me. What am I not understanding, here?
        Last edited by Cat Herder; 1 week ago.

        Comment


        • PB&J
          PB&J commented
          Editing a comment
          I have typed and deleted so many responses. So many side streets on this highway. Here are my thoughts that I think come close to your concerns:
          Those who did not want schools desegregated pulled out a lot of arguments. Those who did want it were looking for equality of resources and equality of environment. I don’t know if they spoke of the “look” of the teachers for the kids.
          So yes, it could seem like having only teachers that look like their students is a kind of (or a return to) segregation, I think this question “merely” addresses that the experts think kids (older kids??) want to see and learn from people who “know what we know” about their lives, and respond better to them. This is not exclusive from (is actually separate from) wanting equal resources in the neighborhood. It does still beg the question of quality being the FIRST choice, not looks.
          Last edited by PB&J; 1 week ago.

      • #5
        Thank you, PB&J. That makes sense. I am all for getting the resources to the kids who need them. I don't like the public and humiliating way that is often done, though. Nobody should know when a kid is given what he needs, especially not the other kids (or often their score keeping parents). I have always thought it was dumb to give resources to kids who already had them as it encourages the parents to check out of their responsibilities. That defeats the purpose, IMO. The goal is for the kids to have their needs met in their homes, by their family, not by the school, right? Why not make the resources about the families directly and not the districts/daycares? Especially if it is about the kids and not local funding opportunities. But I digress....

        Anyway, the training goes on to say:

        "Research shows that children as young as three months old recognize race and show a preference for like-race faces. Research shows that children as young as three months old recognize race and show a preference for like-race faces.* It is not enough to think children are unable to see differences. They most certainly do. It then becomes necessary for the adults in their lives to provide them with a road map for equity children can use as they grow."

        "Research shows that children from marginalized groups who are taught by teachers who look like them tend to be more successful. (Marginalized means to be on the outside of society; a powerless position). In addition, this higher level of success for children of marginalized groups does not negatively affect the success of other children."

        "In the field of early childhood white women in leadership may miss the fact that there is little representation of African-Americans, Indigenous people, men, and members of other minority groups in leadership positions because they have become so used to seeing people who look like them in these positions. As a result, when the pattern is revealed it can be difficult for members of the workforce to see the role of inequity in creating this pattern because the practice has become so deeply rooted into the early childhood system itself."

        "Administrators of early learning programs are the gatekeepers of program policies and decision-making. Here are a few best practice recommendations for creating more equity at the program level: Be intentional about recruitment, retention, and promotion. Seek out quality teaching staff with diverse and varied backgrounds. Then, place them in leadership positions and actively invest in their professional development and support, or recommend their promotion to higher roles, both inside and outside the program."

        I don't know. It feels like we are being asked to push out the white women regardless of their years of service, education or skill set simply based on their skin color. I think I'd prefer that race, sex, gender and age be omitted and interviews conducted by avatar at this point. Surely we have the ability.

        I get the goal, I am just not sure it hits the mark. This coming from Appalachian/Irish poor born to barely teen parents with no supports ever offered. Being labeled "White" does not cover the full spectrum of backgrounds and needs we have either. Either Equity is for all or it is not. I wish I could see where this is going.... IDK.

        Comment


        • #6
          I agree, CH! Sat through a 3-hr training repeating what you typed near verbatim. Many providers and I were on a group chat with a 'confusing-like-what' conversation So this must be far-reaching across the spectrum. Just didn't even know how to respond through this virtual workshop with this information.????

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
            Help me out here.

            I am taking my annual training and this is a test question "T or F - Children from marginalized groups who are taught by teachers who look like them tend to be more successful."

            How would you answer and why.

            FTR: I have already completed the class, so this is not cheating. I want a honest and open discussion.
            I'd say it's false... kids don't care what the teacher (or anyone) looks like, they respond to comfort in the environment not in the appearance

            ...but nowadays it depends who's giving you the quiz

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
              Thank you, PB&J. That makes sense. I am all for getting the resources to the kids who need them. I don't like the public and humiliating way that is often done, though. Nobody should know when a kid is given what he needs, especially not the other kids (or often their score keeping parents). I have always thought it was dumb to give resources to kids who already had them as it encourages the parents to check out of their responsibilities. That defeats the purpose, IMO. The goal is for the kids to have their needs met in their homes, by their family, not by the school, right? Why not make the resources about the families directly and not the districts/daycares? Especially if it is about the kids and not local funding opportunities. But I digress....

              Anyway, the training goes on to say:

              "Research shows that children as young as three months old recognize race and show a preference for like-race faces. Research shows that children as young as three months old recognize race and show a preference for like-race faces.* It is not enough to think children are unable to see differences. They most certainly do. It then becomes necessary for the adults in their lives to provide them with a road map for equity children can use as they grow."

              "Research shows that children from marginalized groups who are taught by teachers who look like them tend to be more successful. (Marginalized means to be on the outside of society; a powerless position). In addition, this higher level of success for children of marginalized groups does not negatively affect the success of other children."

              "In the field of early childhood white women in leadership may miss the fact that there is little representation of African-Americans, Indigenous people, men, and members of other minority groups in leadership positions because they have become so used to seeing people who look like them in these positions. As a result, when the pattern is revealed it can be difficult for members of the workforce to see the role of inequity in creating this pattern because the practice has become so deeply rooted into the early childhood system itself."

              "Administrators of early learning programs are the gatekeepers of program policies and decision-making. Here are a few best practice recommendations for creating more equity at the program level: Be intentional about recruitment, retention, and promotion. Seek out quality teaching staff with diverse and varied backgrounds. Then, place them in leadership positions and actively invest in their professional development and support, or recommend their promotion to higher roles, both inside and outside the program."

              I don't know. It feels like we are being asked to push out the white women regardless of their years of service, education or skill set simply based on their skin color. I think I'd prefer that race, sex, gender and age be omitted and interviews conducted by avatar at this point. Surely we have the ability.

              I get the goal, I am just not sure it hits the mark. This coming from Appalachian/Irish poor born to barely teen parents with no supports ever offered. Being labeled "White" does not cover the full spectrum of backgrounds and needs we have either. Either Equity is for all or it is not. I wish I could see where this is going.... IDK.

              it may be a matter of the status quo ALWAYS being blamed as wrong, coupled with a lack of historical perspective and a cold look at the data. That is, in segregated days kids WERE being taught by same-look teachers … and experts (and parents? Hmm) were concerned that marginalized kids were being under served. (Though I still recall the main issue being equality of resources more than look of staff). These days, the blame for marginalized students under-performing lands on, among other things, not having same-look staff to look up to. What both of these schools of thought ignore is that both situations occurred after the breakdown of two-parent households. Look at the stats for pre-war family data across racial lines. Minority/marginalized households had stable families and a much higher trajectory success. Note that I say stable families; domestic abuse should not be tolerated…but the acceptance of “baby daddy” culture should not, either.

              Sesame Street taught us that kids are colorblind! Your class text that you quote negates 30 years of PBS!!

              What you say about white women being forced out of ECE is what my male friends have been saying about their careers for decades, and what my college age kids said about their acceptance/scholarship rates. This is quite a conversation you started!

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by PB&J View Post


                it may be a matter of the status quo ALWAYS being blamed as wrong, coupled with a lack of historical perspective and a cold look at the data. That is, in segregated days kids WERE being taught by same-look teachers … and experts (and parents? Hmm) were concerned that marginalized kids were being under served. (Though I still recall the main issue being equality of resources more than look of staff). These days, the blame for marginalized students under-performing lands on, among other things, not having same-look staff to look up to. What both of these schools of thought ignore is that both situations occurred after the breakdown of two-parent households. Look at the stats for pre-war family data across racial lines. Minority/marginalized households had stable families and a much higher trajectory success. Note that I say stable families; domestic abuse should not be tolerated…but the acceptance of “baby daddy” culture should not, either.

                Sesame Street taught us that kids are colorblind! Your class text that you quote negates 30 years of PBS!!

                What you say about white women being forced out of ECE is what my male friends have been saying about their careers for decades, and what my college age kids said about their acceptance/scholarship rates. This is quite a conversation you started!
                I know it is a volatile conversation. I want to understand, I want to help, I want to open doors. I want every child to be wanted, supported and to "succeed" (their own definition of that, not the states. Not everyone has the same life goals, some strive for simple on purpose.). I don't know any other way to get through the rhetoric and down to the real issues than to ask for other peoples perspectives. My view was that it was always "rich" politicians gatekeeping us to keep status quo of college graduates. We were labeled in 8th grade as "vocational" or "college prep" and separated into different buildings. We rarely saw those prep kids again. Our vocational diploma's would not allow us to apply for college, only "trade school" or a "work program". In 8th grade I could not advocate for myself and was not even consulted about my life goals. My parents were not told there was a difference. The haves and the have nots could not mingle. It was not about race (my grandmothers generation 40's-50's)) or sex (my mothers generation 60's-70's), it was about class (80's-90's). We could not get better jobs because those required a degree that only rich people could afford and were given access to. How and when did it become about only race, again? I know the politicians benefit when we are pointing at each other instead of them. Does that play into this?

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post

                  How and when did it become about only race, again? I know the politicians benefit when we are pointing at each other instead of them. Does that play into this?
                  I’ve always believed it was the haves vs the have-nots. Have you read articles by Walter Williams? He is (well, was; he is recently deceased) an economist at George Mason University. His newspaper columns often talked about how race entered this argument.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Yes, I have read many of Walter Williams books. And many of Thomas Sowell's. And, of course, many of Joan Robinson's. They started as assigned back in the 80's and I grew up reading them. I was in FBLA club (Future Business Leaders of America) all through junior high- high school and they were often discussed and highly regarded. I think I have close to 30 of their books, still. My dad wanted me to be an accountant. I worked front office/collections as my 1/2 day "work program" three years for graduation, I can type like a mad woman and spent hours practicing on my on typewriter. At one time, I thought I might go into business. Ironic that here I am, just not in the way I expected.

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