National organization of English teachers adds anti-racism to training standards

A professional organization of published english teachers updated standards last week that focus on the role teachers play in addressing systemic racism and promoting anti-racism.

The National Council of English Teachers announced the update last week, the first time since 2012 that the “Standards for Initial Preparation of English Teachers” for high schools and colleges have been updated.

The standards state that teachers should “apply and demonstrate knowledge of learners and learning to foster inclusive learning environments that support consistent, relevant, standards-aligned, differentiated and anti-racist/antibias teaching.”

CRITICAL THEORY OF UNEXPECTED RACE IN VIRGINIA TEACHER TRAINING MATERIALS, CONTRARY TO DEMOCRATIC DEMANDS

Anti-racism and anti-prejudice are terms often associated with critical race theory, an academic theory that posits that American cultural practices and institutions are systematically racist and oppress racial minorities, especially black people. Eradicating systemic racism requires anti-racist practices, according to critical race theorists.

Critical race theory in education has recently been the subject of intense public debate, with conservative activists arguing that its presence in K-12 schools promotes racial division. Liberals insist theory is not taught in public schools, despite numerous examples of teacher training materials offering guidelines on how to integrate elements of theory into the K-12 classroom .

The inclusion of anti-racist language in the standards “changed the term social justice to anti-racist/antibias based on expert advice”, according to the council. press release announcing the standards.

The standards are created for “teacher preparation programs with the goal of preparing future teachers,” said NCTE spokeswoman Stacey Finkel. Washington Examiner.

Finkel also included in the press release a comment from Council Chairman Alfredo Celedon Lujan that “our field directly addresses the human condition in shaping the literate lives of our learners and is uniquely positioned to act on the complexities facing we collectively face.

“Sectarianism, discrimination, oppression, division and racism are part of the world that future English teachers work in,” Lujan said. “These new standards are intended to support educators as they prepare to enter the classroom.”

NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick said EdWeek that “a lot of changes are going on [in English/language arts education]and we want to use the standards as an active way to communicate what the NCTE believes is essential to have before teaching grades 7-12.

“The guiding light is that student demands and societal demands have dramatically changed the landscape.” says Kirkpatrick.

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The council will welcome its annual convention later this week, centered on the theme “Equity, Justice and Anti-Racist Education”.