Race and Ethnicity Reflection


Raceand Ethnicity Reflection

Raceand Ethnicity Reflection

Thearticle “AnotherInconvenient Truth, Race and Ethnicity”by Willis Hawley and Sonia Nieto looks at the challenged faced bylearners from minority racial groups in schools and the resultanteducation achievement gap. The main issues in the article are howrace and ethnicity affect learning and what can be done to improvethe learning environment. There is a huge gap in education outcomesand graduation rate of learners from different racial groups (forexample, white and Asian students). Despite these disparities beingevident, there are no adequate policies and practices that are aimedat dealing with them. The article proposes policies and practicesthat can be used to reduce this disparity. According to Hawley &ampNoeto (2010), race and ethnic differences are social constructions.Teachers need to adapt teaching methods that are inclusive andresponsive to learners’ diversity. This includes teaching methodsthat recognize learner’s differences, cognitive abilities, learningenvironment, identities of the learners and the role of the communityand family in learning (Hawley &amp Noeto, 2010).

Impactsof race and ethnicity on learning

Thefirst insight from this article is that there is a need for teachersto understand how race affects learning and teaching. The learningprocess is influenced by the attitudes and behaviors towards racialand ethnic differences (Hawley &amp Noeto, 2010). This is becausethese differences are likely to affect the perceived learningabilities of an individual. For example, perceptions that individualsfrom particular racial or ethnic groups have inferior cognitive andacademic ability may have a negative impact on their learningachievement or teaching approaches used by the teacher. On the otherhand, individuals from minority races or ethnicities may havebelieves that they have limited opportunities in the learningenvironment. The fear of stereotypes and possible discrimination cannegatively affect their learning achievements. Learners can alsohave limited cultural competence, which is likely to result intointolerance to racial or ethnic differences. However, teachers have aresponsibility of enhancing learning outcomes among learners from allbackgrounds. This is facilitated by demonstrating tolerance tolearners’ differences and promoting positive perceptions aboutlearning to promote uniform academic achievement.

Schoolculture and teaching approaches

Thesecond insight from this article is the role of school culture andteaching approaches in supporting racial and ethnic diversity (Hawley&amp Noeto, 2010). A school culture that promotes learners’diversity should be responsive to racial and ethnic differences.Racially and ethnically responsive teaching is dependent on whetherthe teacher is competent or has the necessary skills. Responsiveteaching involves teaching methods as well as learning materials thatrecognize learner’s diversity. The school culture can alsodetermine whether the learning environment is able to accommodateracial and ethnic differences. It is important to note that thelearners’ populations are becoming diverse. This cannot be changed.However, the school culture and the teaching approaches in thelearning environment can be changed to accommodate all learners.


Thereis increased racial and ethnic diversity in the learningenvironments. Disparities in learners’ achievement are evident.There are no adequate measures that are policies and interventionsthat have been put in place to deal with these challenges. Teachersneed to understand the importance of racial differences in thelearners’ population and adapt teaching approaches that areresponsive to learners’ diversity.


Basedon my own experience, race and ethnicity have important impacts onthe education system. I have 19 years teaching experience, and I haveencountered racial and ethnic disparities in the education system. Iam Hispanic and the majority of my students are Hispanic. As a resultof racial and ethnic disparities in the education system, minorityraces, mainly Hispanics have the highest school dropout rates in thecountry. I am convinced that there are no adequate policies andinterventions that promote parity and adequately accommodate learnersfrom diverse racial and ethnic groups. All stakeholders, includingteachers, have huge responsibilities of promoting racial and ethnictolerance in the education system.


Hawley,W. &amp Noeto, S. (2010). Another Inconvenient Truth: Race andEthnicity Matter. ClosingOpportunity Gaps,68(3), pp 66-71.

Moller,S. (2013). Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture and MathematicsAchievement Differences by Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status.Sociologyof Education.86(2), pp 174-194.