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Education Improving Race Relations Essay


Introduction

The separation between groups is a common characteristic of many communities and societies not only in developed countries such as the United States but also in the developing world. Available literature demonstrates that the separation is precipitated by factors such as socioeconomic status, gender considerations, racial and ethnic considerations, ethnicity, and religious convictions.1 In the United States, race appears to override other factors in determining how people socialize and interact with each other.2 The focus of the present paper is to discuss how race relations could be improved in the country through education.

Role of Education in Improving Racial Relations

Research is consistent that racial or intergroup relations are affected in adverse ways by many stereotypes, misconceptions, and negative attitudes held by the dominant racial group toward other minority racial and ethnic groupings.3 In this light, education can be used to address stereotypes and misconceptions by not only providing accurate information about minor racial groups but also encouraging cooperation and collaboration between students from dominant racial groups and those perceived as marginalized through the lens of race. Indeed, Banks is clear that “an important aim of schools should be to provide students with experiences and materials that will help them to develop positive attitudes and behaviors toward individuals from different racial, ethnic, language, and social-class groups.”4 Drawing from this elaboration, it is evident that education could be used to ensure that students from different racial groups are facilitated to develop positive attitudes toward each other and deal with issues of stereotyping and segregation with the view to improving race relations.

It is also important to note that education can stimulate cohesion and promote social inclusion, which in turn foster the development of relationships that go beyond the confines of racial cocoons by ensuring that individuals can internalize the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to establish mutually beneficial interactions across the racial landscape.5 Here, it is important to note that individuals who have been exposed to an elaborate education system are more able than those without adequate education to use their knowledge and skills to establish meaningful relationships with people from other racial groups as they have the know-how and expertise to mitigate pre-existing animosities.

The last argument is embedded in the fact that education provides individuals with the skills and competencies to understand race and racial relations as mere social constructions that are not in any way biologically or genetically determined.6 Here, it is important to note that the common stereotypes and misconceptions about African Americans as criminals, for example, are fuelled by a lack of understanding that Blacks are more predisposed to turn into criminals due to environmental factors rather than genetic or biological orientations. With exposure to education, however, students and other members of the society gain some form of racial literacy which is integral to understanding how their values systems, beliefs, and attitudes toward others contribute to the development of a mental schema that they use to characterize others as racially superior or inferior. Racial relations will improve when society members develop an adequate understanding of the fact that the mental schemas and social constructions of other people based on their race are often biased and without merit.

Conclusion

This paper has discussed how race relations could be improved in the country through education. Drawing from the discussion, it can be concluded that education is of immense importance in ensuring that people from different racial backgrounds continue to live in harmony.

Bibliography

BANKS, JAMES A., ‘Improving Race Relations in Schools: From Theory and Research to Practice’, Journal of Social Issues, 62/3 (2006), 607-614, in Academic Search Premier [online database], Web.

HORSFORD, SONYA DOUGLAS, ‘When Race Enters the Room: Improving Leadership and Learning through Racial Literacy’, Theory into Practice, 53/2 (2014), 123-130, in Academic Search Premier [online database], Web.

MCKEOWN, S., STRINGER, MAURICE, and CAIRNS, ED., ‘Classroom Segregation: Where do Students Sit and how is this Related to Group Relations’, British Educational Research Journal, 42/1 (2015), 40-55, in Academic Search Premier [online database], Web.

Footnotes

1 S. McKeown, Maurice Stringer, and Ed Cairns, ‘Classroom Segregation: Where do Students Sit and how is this Related to Group Relations’, British Educational Research Journal, 42/1 (2015), 40-55, in Academic Search Premier [online database], accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

2 James A. Banks, ‘Improving Race Relations in Schools: From Theory and Research to Practice’, Journal of Social Issues, 62/3 (2006), 607-614, in Academic Search Premier [online database], accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

3 James, Loc. Cit.

4 James, Loc. Cit.

5 James, Op. Cit. 613.

6 Sonya Douglas Horsford, ‘When Race Enters the Room: Improving Leadership and Learning through Racial Literacy’, Theory into Practice, 53/2 (2014), 123-130, in Academic Search Premier [online database], accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 22). Education Improving Race Relations. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-improving-race-relations/

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"Education Improving Race Relations." IvyPanda, 22 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/education-improving-race-relations/.

1. IvyPanda. "Education Improving Race Relations." September 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-improving-race-relations/.


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IvyPanda. "Education Improving Race Relations." September 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-improving-race-relations/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Education Improving Race Relations." September 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-improving-race-relations/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Education Improving Race Relations'. 22 September.

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