Education, Equity, and Love

NYU Professor David Kirkland pens this powerful and heartfelt piece on the role of love in real education reform.  It is framed as a meditation in response to the killings of black men by police.  Kirkland writes:

But the use of education to eradicate racial bias cannot be limited to communities concentrated with people of color because the origins of racial bias are rooted in homogenous settings and White privilege. Privilege is when you don’t think something is a problem because it’s not your problem. While it has become vogue to teach about race, social justice and equity to students of color, White students who attend schools that are overwhelmingly White may need this kind of education the most. Exposing such students to new standards, curricula and pedagogies will broaden their worldviews.

What I am proposing is a paradigm shift in education, transferring the focus of instruction from skills, content, and capacities to relationships, from disparity and discrimination to a focus on our needs and capacities as human beings to bridge empathic, cooperative, and social gaps that hinder learning, development, and societal harmony. This is an education for greater compassion because it affirms all students equally, whereby challenging us to commit ourselves to the hard work of interrupting biases and dismantling systems of historic violence against our nation’s (and our world’s) most vulnerable citizens. Left unchecked, such systems promise to play out in patterns of death and destruction rehearsed repeatedly each day (as we are now seeing).

Read the rest @ NY Slant

Photo by JohnnyLCY

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