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When Admonishment Isn't Enough: Insufficient Responses to Addressing Racial Conflict in the Classroom

Sun, April 11, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 4 Paper and Symposium Sessions


This qualitative study investigated 148 pre- and in-service teachers’ responses to a hypothetical scenario of a racialized classroom event between students to examine if and how teachers would intervene in racial conflict. Overwhelmingly, 97% of teachers reported they would respond; most responses to racial bias indicated discourses of moral responsibility and/or notions of pluralism. However, some proposed interventions eluded racial dialogue, while others relied on the student of color to assuage racial tension. Overall, participant responses suggest that current intervention strategies may perpetuate, rather than combat racism within the classroom. The presentation concludes with suggestions for further research, as well as specifics for teacher training that assist in addressing racial conflict between students.