Even teachers with the best intentions can put conversations around race on the backburner, says H. Richard Milner IV, professor at the University of Pittsburgh School for Education. But, as Milner writes in the Harvard Education Press title, Rac(e)ing to Class, these discussions, while difficult, need to happen in order for change to take place.
"Talking is important ... but I hope it pushes us to a space where we are committed to doing something," he says. "Talk is a precursor to the kind of action I'm calling for in the book. I want us to talk, but, doggone it, I want us to move that talk into action."
A recentering of race needs to take place in education, says Milner, in policy, pedagogy, and curriculum development, as well as in conversations. "We have got to get this race thing right," he says.
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Milner discusses his book — chosen by Dean James Ryan to be read by the HGSE community as part of the Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity community conversation — and examines ways in which we can confront poverty and race in schools and classrooms.
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.