Campus Reform | $300k NSF grant to train student teachers on ‘systemic racism’

$300k NSF grant to train student teachers on ‘systemic racism’

UNC Charlotte was awarded almost $300,000 to create training modules for student teachers on the effects of systemic racism in education.

The project aims to help teachers ‘better support and advocate for the students in their secondary mathematics classes, especially students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.’

The National Science Foundation has awarded almost $300,000 to the University of North Carolina Charlotte to create modules that would train student teachers on the effects of systemic racism in education.

According to the grant abstract, UNC Charlotte is using the grant money to work with Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Houston “to better support and advocate for the students in their secondary mathematics classes, especially students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” according to the grant abstract

The project began on October 1.

The project will also help teachers develop various curricula which are designed to serve "students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color." 

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Additionally, the project's abstract states, "Instructor guides will help navigate the context, content, software, and possible preservice teacher resistance as they engage in difficult conversations about race."

The goals of this research are to: “(i) design and implement two data modules to engage preservice teachers in thinking statistically and discussing systems of injustice, namely systemic racism, and (ii) develop and refine instructor guides that focus on helping mathematics teacher educators implement these modules.” 

Jenna Robinson, president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, told Campus Reform that critical race theory should not be in math classes.

“Critical theory has no place in math class," Robinson said. "If schools and teachers want to examine questions of race, equity, or equality, it should be done elsewhere. Sneaking it into the math curriculum undermines the purpose of math classes."

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The UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education explains in its statement on racial injustice, “In line with our mission to be a national leader in educational equity, we have already taken steps in this pursuit." 

We have, for example, re-designed programs to better prepare professional educators to work in professional and personal settings, sought and received grant funding to recruit a more diverse pool of teacher candidates, school leaders, and counselors, developed anti-racism curricula, and appointed a new Director of Diversity and Inclusion," the statement continued.

Campus Reform reached out to UNC Charlotte for comment but did not receive a response.