|dc.description.abstract||Racism is rife in American society (Tate, 1997) and is “embedded in the social, cultural, and biological collective consciousness of human experience” (Utsey, Ponterotto & Porter, 2008, p. 340). However, despite its pervasiveness, racism continues to be an issue that is not readily or easily discussed in our society—especially not in the education system or in conjunction with educators’ beliefs about race and their reactions to incidents related to race. Social Desirability Theory teaches us that people are not usually willing to report their negative attitudes toward others, even when they are aware they make assumptions based on race because it is not socially acceptable. Therefore, much learning can occur about the automatic unspoken beliefs and assumptions that drive our behavior in racial situations (Collins & Pieterse, 2007).
The purpose of this study was to explore educator’s expressed beliefs and reactions to race using critical incident scenarios. The qualitative study employed Gordon Allport’s (1954) Contact Hypothesis and used two key data sources to explore the research questions:
(a) Two written experiences with race created by participants on cue cards, and (b) the use of two focus groups consisting of 3 and 4 educators (respectively) from diverse racial backgrounds. The principal data collection activity included three core activities associated with the critical analysis of real-life critical incidents used to facilitate discussions around the expressed beliefs and reactions of educators to incidents related to race. These were: (a) reactions to scenarios, (b) discussions of scenarios, and (c) reflections on discussion. The resulting data was analyzed using the constant comparative method of data analysis and major themes were determined.
An analysis of the data yielded four themes in response to Research Question One, which asked, “What expressed beliefs and reactions to scenarios about race were revealed by educators of color? There were also two themes associated with Research Question Two: “What expressed beliefs and reactions to scenarios about race were revealed by White educators? And there were two major themes/factors in relation to Research Question Three: “What factors inform expressed beliefs and reactions to the scenarios about race? Results showed very different beliefs between the educators of color and the White educators. However, the two groups of educators shared common factors that informed their expressed beliefs and reactions to the scenarios.
INDEX WORDS: Adult Education, Professional Development, Contact Hypothesis,
Critical Race Theory, Race, Racism, Prejudice, Dialogue
Unconscious & Conscious Racial Beliefs and Assumptions
Critical Reflection, Critical Incidents, Focus Groups, Critical Discourse Analysis, Reactions to Scenarios||