Color-Blind Education

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about color-blind ideology and how it affects our school systems. It is interesting to think about the fact that some educators endorse this color-blind ideology and can not see the potential negative effects it has on children. When I think back to my experience as a child, I try to remember how my elementary schools teachers approached students of color. Unfortunately, it is not something that I can remember very clearly. Which then makes me wonder if I cannot remember it because they used this color-blind approach.

Whenever I think about color blindness in schools, I think about the study discussed in class, which said that children with a teacher who endorsed color blindness were less likely to understand when these biases are occurring. To me, this is almost disturbing. Children should be being educated to accept people for who they are despite race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. It is unrealistic to think that we can educate children to not notice race, especially when they grow up and issues of race are thrown at them.

Something that is interesting to think about when it comes to children and color blindness, is what if a child has been raised to acknowledge race and then they are put into a classroom with a teacher who does not acknowledge race. How does a child react to this type of situation? Do you think this could be confusing to a child in understanding right vs wrong?

3 thoughts on “Color-Blind Education”

  1. I think a young child who has been raised to be aware of race and its implications will probably be very frustrated and upset with a teacher that does not understand the repercussions of color blind ideology. It would have to be confusing for them to be told that race matters in one setting and race doesn’t matter in another. I presume if there are a lot of instances where the kid sees race as important to the situation and the teacher refuses to see it, that the student will be “disciplined” a lot and that may lead to different issues in school.

  2. I think that it could definitely be confusing if a child was brought up in a family that talks openly about race and then it is ignored in the classroom. If they were very young they might not think too much about it, and just go along with the colorblind approach. But an older child may introduce some of the racial biases into the conversation at school and could maybe influence some of the other children as well. This would probably be a challenge for the teacher if they are trying to maintain this colorblind ideology, and they would try their hardest to discourage the child from discussing race in the classroom. That is where it would become confusing. But i completely agree with you that colorblind ideology is really bad to promote in the classroom, because children do not learn how to openly discuss racial biases, and will continue to be ignorant in the future.

  3. I agree, colorblind ideology does awful things to the education system. I think your post is closely related to the school to prison pipeline. African American students are constantly being unfairly punished and treated in schools, and teachers and administration blame it on everything but race. Pretending that race doesn’t exist gives the schools the excuse to funnel students into prison. It really is awful, and I agree that students and teachers need to become aware of colorblindness and how important it is to talk about race.

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