Campus Reform | Yale prof decries 'colorblindness' in K-12 education

Yale prof decries 'colorblindness' in K-12 education

In his work at Yale University and within K-12 education, Yale professor Daniel HoSang decried “colorblindess” in K-12 education.

HoSang founded the “Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Collective," which promotes the 1619 Project.

Yale University Professor Daniel HoSang decried “colorblindess” in K-12 education.

HoSang, a professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, leads a seminar called “Teaching About Race and Racism Across the Disciplines” for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. He explained to Yale News that his work is rooted in the desire to develop a “curriculum and pedagogy that would be more attentive to issues of race and racism.”

Accordingly, HoSang focuses upon the issue of “colorblindness,” which is a failure to recognize racial issues in curricula.

“Teachers really understand colorblindness because in their teacher education, they are often reminded that every student is an individual,” HoSang said. “That in itself is not a problem, but it is not attending to history, to context, to racist structures and inequalities of power. Treating everyone as equal does not by itself produce justice. We have to acknowledge histories of inequality.”

[RELATED: Davidson College spends $1 million telling White churches how not to be racist]

HoSang also co-founded the Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Collective, which exists to build a community of educators and students that advances “anti-racist pedagogy, curriculum and practice within K-12 public schools in Connecticut.”

The organization’s website hosts free curricula developed by teachers “specifically with a critical, antiracist lens.” Among these resources are guides to “Latinx” history and “identity and social justice.”

The Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Collective also lists the 1619 Project as a resource. The project is an initiative led by New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to reframe United States history around the issue of slavery.

[RELATED: 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says American flag outside childhood home 'embarrassed' her]

HoSang’s initiatives are among many efforts led by postsecondary institutions to bring “anti-racism” to elementary, middle, and high school education. Campus Reform recently reported on the University of California-Davis’s work to revamp its education department to train teachers using a social justice lens.

HoSang told Campus Reform that “it is important and valuable for teachers to be responsive to individual students and to their particular learning styles, curiosities, and strengths.” However, his initiatives “also want to support educators in being able to teach in accurate and effective ways about the histories, contexts, and structures which shape all of our lives. There is no reason to censor teachers from engaging their students around these topics and themes.”

HoSang added that “we can recognize and treat students as individuals and introduce them to accurate information about the shared history of the nation, free of censorship, and trust students to reach their own conclusions about this information.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft