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Posted on November 18, 2012 4:04 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
Lost Atmosphere
When I engaged my 10th graders in discussions about racism and discrimination in society, I was really happy to see the heated debates. Although I did not like the fact that Black students were defending the “Black side” of the issues and the White students were defending the “White side” of the issues, I thought exchanging ideas and perspectives was a move in the right direction. My purpose was to promote a critical view on social issues in my students. What I did not expect was that days and weeks following this lesson, my Black and White students refused to work together. I could not have them cooperate in group assignments. If I let the students choose their own groups, Black students chose Blacks and White students chose Whites. Working together had never been an issue among my students prior to the lesson on racism and discrimination. I do not know how to bring back what was lost because of this lesson.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted December 7, 2012 11:46 am

BreAnna Sinclair
BreAnna Sinclair
Reps: 118
I would relate this situation to one of my favorite movies, Freedom Writers. It may be a good idea to show the movie in class since it is based off a true story. I would also use some of the similar stratgies from the movie to show students that they are all alike in some ways. Depending on the school and community, the issues may not be as deep as in the movie, but there are similarties between the Black and White students in your class that may bring them together.
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Natisha
Natisha
Reps: 99
I believe this solution is smart because all high school students love movies and maybe it will teach them something that no one else can
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 9:37 pm

qaGuqy
qaGuqy
Reps: 129
I also would have to agree with this solution. Great solution!!
  Posted on: March 13, 2015 7:13 pm

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Solution 2
Posted November 30, 2012 5:48 pm

Meredith Hein
Meredith Hein
Reps: 139
I would try doing a lesson on being an American citizen and the privilege that comes with being an American no matter the color of your skin. I would also emphasize that you are all people with feelings. I would ask them, "Would you not work with me, your teacher, just because of my skin color or does it have to do with the fact that you all are peers?" If that did not work, I would not give them an option but instead assign one black person and one white person to work with each other for the entire class. I would also show my favorite movie Remember the Titans to help spark back their interest in the cohesiveness of working together as a team.
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Solution 3
Posted December 7, 2012 11:46 am

BreAnna Sinclair
BreAnna Sinclair
Reps: 118
Another solution would be to have the same type of assignment, but in reverse. Have the students hold a discussion or maybe even write a paper defending the opposites race's issues. If students complain that they don't know what to write, create an interview scenario where a white student interviews a black student and vice versa to find issues to write about. If students refuse to interview one another, then tell them they must research the issue on their own to write the paper.
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Solution 4
Posted December 8, 2012 3:06 pm

Savanna Hayman
Savanna Hayman
Reps: 104
What I would do, is to have the same assignment but in reverse. You mentioned that the black students defended the black side of things and the white students defended the white sides, but if they were both forced to defend the other, then they could see that there is more than one side to every story. Tell the students to have the same debates but you have to defend the other side.
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ezaDyR
ezaDyR
Reps: 100
Great idea! I would allow the students to participate in a class debate where they have to use their knowledge to defend themselves and who they are. That way everybody can be incorporated in the debate.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 12:34 pm

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Solution 5
Posted February 22, 2015 3:46 am

ajybus
ajybus
Reps: 90
I would suggest taking an extra day with this assignment and showing the movie "Class of the Titans" and allowing students to eat peanuts or popcorn while watching this movie. The message of the movie is tolerance and overcoming racial bias and would encourage the perspective needed for this assignment.
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Solution 6
Posted October 1, 2015 6:59 pm

Sutede
Sutede
Reps: 101
Your students are exhibiting the exact situations that causes rifts between races and promotes discrimination that you referenced in the social issue lesson you taught on racism. Their behavior is separating the classroom community and needs to be stopped. Open communication between the groups of students needs to occur to promote cohesion. Perhaps a lesson about Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech about ending racism is needed.
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Solution 7
Posted December 5, 2012 1:00 pm

David Sanders
David Sanders
Reps: 143
I guess the teacher learned the big lesson here. Maybe 10th graders are not ready to understand social sensibilities. They only understand their world, no politics, world situations or social contracts. They are interested in dating, partying, sports and an occasional fight.
While I think I would just leave the subject alone for a while, if I really needed unity, I would try taking one point from each side and lecturing on the merits and ignorance of the black or white position. I would allow questions but no open discussions.
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Natisha
Natisha
Reps: 99
It doesn't help to leave the subject alone. Not all 10th graders are the same, some do understand the concept of social sensibilities and some may not.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 9:40 pm

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Solution 8
Posted December 6, 2012 2:53 pm

Selena W Farmer
Selena W Farmer
Reps: 121
This sounds like a difficult situation. I would try to create a discussion or activity that would help bring the class back together. I would try to faciliate a discussion where hopefully students can questions and hopefully realize "what it's like to walk in their shoes" type thing. Within that I would also maybe consider discussing women's rights and seeing if the girls in the class unite to express their opinions. And hopefully that would not further make the problem worse. Such discussion can get sticky.
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Solution 9
Posted December 9, 2012 4:57 pm

Melissa Tolbert
Melissa Tolbert
Reps: 104
I would require the groups to be mixed with races and give them a side of the topic that they had to defend together. The groups would be required to defend their side whether they agreed with it or not and get a better knowledge base on why people think that way. I would also pair the students with someone of a different race in assignments to discuss topics. When students are not in big groups they are less likely to get defensive and heated on their opinions and are more likely to have civil conversations about issues.
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