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Shut up and Listen: Applied Critical Race Theory in the Classroom
Race, Ethnicity and Education
  • Christopher B Knaus, University of Washington - Tacoma Campus
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This paper demonstrates that applying critical race theory to the classroom dramatically shifts the nature and scope of schooling for students of color in urban schools. In focusing on students, applied critical race theory centers the development of voice and expression, and de-centers the high-stakes pressures that limit student engagement. This overview of a writing class at a continuation high school clarifies the importance of student voice, but also of knowing how to engage in dialogue with students about the social context they navigate daily. Understanding how to foster critical voice in students provides educators the tools to create engaging classrooms, and acknowledges the intense emotional experiences that students bring (from home contexts) to the classroom. Without such acknowledgement at the core of schooling, educators are likely to reinforce the very stereotypes that lead students to reject what they often see as demeaning education. The article demonstrates instructional techniques that encourage student voice as a foundation for academic excellence, and argues that applying critical race theory ultimately requires re-visioning the entire US educational system. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Citation Information
Christopher B Knaus. "Shut up and Listen: Applied Critical Race Theory in the Classroom" Race, Ethnicity and Education Vol. 12 Iss. 2 (2009) p. 133 - 154
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