Madison, Wis. (May 12, 2015) – Dr. Charles “Chuck” Taylor was recently honored with the Edgewood College Faculty Award for Excellence in Multicultural Education.
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to students, faculty and to Edgewood College across multiple aspects of multicultural education.
Dr. Taylor’s work in multicultural awareness, inclusion and honoring of diversity in the workplace and the world was noted in the citation.
“Dr. Taylor’s efforts to provide a laboratory for engagement in an intersectional analysis of race, ethnicity, class and gender, represents a distinguished record of excellence in multicultural education at Edgewood College and in the greater Madison community,” said Dr. Dean Pribbenow, Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“He has developed innovative, academically rigorous coursework in critical studies of race, ethnicity and multiculturalism in the United States, which is now a required element in our doctoral program in Educational Leadership, while using culturally responsive pedagogies in all of the courses he teaches,” Pribbenow said.
The plaque they gave me read: “For your invaluable contributions and commitment to multicultural education and scholarship, as well as your energetic and imaginative diversity initiatives both in and outside the classroom. Edgewood College honors you for the profound impact your teaching has had on your students.”
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Indeed I was humbled by this award but an equally fulfilling honor came when I was able to walk across the stage with three of my students who earned their doctorate degrees this year. I am so proud of each of these students and I know each will continue to make great contributions to our society. That’s what we as educators hope for and expect of our graduates. I want my students to use education to challenge social inequities. We need researchers who will arm themselves with liberating knowledge to help us reclaim our true history and accurately tell our stories. I want all of my students to leave my classroom more empathetic, engaged and willing to stand up for social justice.
Taysheedra wrote her dissertation on: Nursing students’ perceptions of two program outcomes modeled by nursing faculty at a mid-west technical college. Her goal is to set up a health clinic for women. I have no doubt in my mind that she will achieve her goal. I’m thrilled to have contributed to the educational part of her journey.
DBE interviews prominent scholars and leaders from around the country and features them on its website. This interview features Ms. Angela Provitera McGlynn Professor Emeritus, Mercer County Community College.
DBE: We understand you’ve written a book to help campuses educate and graduate low income, first generation and students of color. What motivated you to write this book and how will it help campuses do just that?
Angela Provitera McGlynn: Yes, the book is entitled, Envisioning equity: Educating and Graduating Low-income, First-generation, and Minority College Students. It was published by Atwood Publishing in 2011. I taught psychology at a community college for 35 years and as most people know, the community college population is very heterogeneous and diverse. I taught students who were well prepared for college and very bright. They chose to attend a community college for the first two years primarily because of the lower cost as compared with a four-year institution and because it was close to home. Many other students were adult learners returning to school to change careers or simply to pursue life-long learning. And then there were many students who were the first in their families to attend college. Many were from low-income families and many belonged to minority groups that have been traditionally under-represented in higher education. I saw in my teaching that this last group – first-generation, low-income, and minority students, populations that often overlap, were at risk for completing their degrees. I wanted to change their trajectories not only by my teaching but also by pursuing research about institutional factors that would make a difference in terms of their academic success.
My book explains pedagogical strategies for college teachers that promote student success for all students but seem to have an even bigger impact on at-risk students. Additionally, the final third section of the book entitled, “Improving Graduation Rates through Institutional Commitment,” depicts practices, policies, and strategies that can enhance academic success for this population in particular. In fact, I provide a checklist created by Shulock et al. 2010) for how governors, legislatures, P-12 School Boards, Postsecondary Boards and Postsecondary Coordinating Boards could all play a role in promoting student success. The chapter mentioned above emphasizes the role college administrators can play not only at their own institutions but also in partnering with high schools so as to ensure better preparedness of students to do college-level work. [Read More...]
This article contains practical advice for working with students of color on your campus. Faculty, Staff and especially student services personnel should find these tips helpful.
Working with culturally different students can be extremely rewarding and transformative. On the other hand for those who have had limited contact with students of color, it can be a challenge that requires sensitivity and vulnerability. Because of the potential for mixed signals, suspicion and misunderstanding, it’s important that care be given to how this interaction is to be structured. While do’s and don’ts are unnecessary, it is important to acknowledge some broad generalizations that may prove helpful when working with students of color. If these guidelines are followed you stand a better chance of creating positive interactions.
Remember that racial minorities are not all the same
Avoid the tendency to lump all minorities together or view them as the same. Much has been written about the recent trend of adopting a ‘color-blind’ approach towards people of different ethnicities. Bonilla-Silva and Forman (2000) analyzed interviews and surveys conducted with white college students to highlight a form of colorblind racism where students continued to hold on to prejudiced views but considered themselves to have moved beyond prejudices by not noticing the color of the person they were talking to.
Color blindness as a long-term societal goal may be a good idea, but as it is presently practiced, is a form of prejudice since it denies people their identity and history. Diverse racial and ethnic groups have a different history in the United States, and therefore traveled very different paths to becoming part of the American Society. Lumping all minorities together is tantamount to stripping them of their collective histories, rich cultural heritage and unique experiences in the contemporary society. Helping students accept differences is more than just teaching tolerance. Practicing diversity is key to our survival as a nation and as a member of the world community. Sensitive college personnel who understand this create practices and cultural programming that respects each group’s unique cultural differences.
Stress cultural pluralism and celebrate diversity while downplaying the notion of the U.S. as a melting pot. When one is expressing the sentiment of ignoring differences, one is generally supporting the melting pot theory. Although European immigrants were encouraged to “melt,” generally racial minorities were not permitted to. It is not surprising that the melting pot concept is rejected by many people of color today. Cultural pluralism or multiculturalism is the concept being embraced by such groups. Gold (1977) offers a reason for this when he writes:
“…multiculturalism equates with the respect shown the varied cultures and ethnic groups which have built the United States and which continue today to contribute to its richness and diversity.”
Multiculturalism recognizes that as Americans we share many things in common, but as hyphenated Americans our lifestyles and values need not be the same. The way we dance, speak, party, dress, etc., can reflect our cultural heritage and need not be considered anti-American. Multiculturalism attempts to make the point that differences are not deficiencies.
Despite the many things we have in common, we also share diverse experiences that may only be common to our “racial group.” Integration in the United States for people of color has been qualitatively different than that of the Anglo immigrants. Johnson (1997) discusses the experiences of Mexican immigrants and coins the term ‘ring of fire’ rather than melting pot to describe the difficulties that Mexican immigrants face in becoming citizens of the United States. Therefore, the U.S. has not been a melting pot for people of all ethnicities and to use that term can be construed as showing a lack of historical knowledge and/or cultural insensitivity.
Avoid stereotyping ALANA groups
Watch for stereotyping in language, in media, and in institutional practices. The way in which ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) groups are portrayed in the media, whether it be the news or popular films can have a significant impact on how people view that group (Bjornstorm, 2010). In general there is a tendency in the news media to report crime or other negative news due to its newsworthiness (Bjornstorm, 2010). When minorities are over represented in such news stories, the public can be influenced into projecting stereotypical negative attitudes towards the entire group.
It is therefore imperative to step back and help college students develop a more informed and critical perspective on how ALANA groups are portrayed in mass media. One should for instance consider the fact that minorities are generally underrepresented among those who are newsmakers, or hold positions of power and influence in the business of news making, and therefore there is a much greater chance for them to be portrayed negatively (Ungerleider, 1991).
We need to take this notion of stereotyping seriously because it affects the quality of life that students of color experience on predominantly white campuses. Solorzano et al’s (2000) study found that minority students were constantly exposed to subtle indicators of prejudice, in the classroom or with their peers. In social situations students reported that African American functions or gatherings were under greater scrutiny and they were held to a higher standard of following rules and regulations as opposed to white gatherings. Students in the study also reported having to spend more effort not only to perform well, but also to do so while navigating a host of racial stereotypes in almost all settings. Many students admitted to changing or dropping courses because of their inability to cope with the racial micro-aggressions in one form or another. [Read More...]