We Don T Know Summary

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Gary R. Howard’s “We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know” offers an insightful look into multicultural education and the ways in which white educators can, and should, consider the diversity within their classrooms as a necessary part of the learning process. Although an admittedly difficult topic, the author strives to help the reader understand the problem of diversity in our schools and the ways in which our approach to educating multiracial students can help or hinder students. This report seeks to provide an overall review of the book and a discussion of the positive and negative aspects of the opinions presented. Book Synopsis The book begins with the author sharing his own personal background and history and how he was first introduced to the issue of race. Mr. Howard grew up in a predominantly white, upper-class area with little to no …show more content…

Without self-awareness teachers may not know or realize that they are doing something that is white-culture specific. Sadly, Howard writes that this area is one in which educators “receive little time, attention, or encouragement” within their training programs. His own experiences have shown him that the more he “examined his own ‘stuff’ related to race, culture, and difference” the less likely he was to consciously or unconsciously “expose students to [his] own assumption of rightness, [his] luxury of ignorance, or [his] blind perpetuation of the legacy of White privilege.” Knowing one’s students, the last side of the triangle, is important because educators need to know their students unique histories and backgrounds in order to effectively teach them. Educators can learn about their student’s cultures, racial identities, home situations, languages, learning characteristics, personalities, economic status, and strengths. Educators will be better able to avoid projecting biases and assumptions onto their students when they know more about

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