March 10, 2021

By: Chonika Coleman-King 1,*,Valerie Adams-Bass 2,*,Keisha Bentley-Edwards and more.

This article describes the process of developing a critical conscious curriculum for African American students (middle schoolers) using racial socialization theory and measurement as a foundation. (For more, see Dr. Bentley-Edwards’ previous co-authored article here.) This article was part of a special issue in Social Sciences on Racial Justice in Learning Contexts.

Key points of the article:

  • This article describes the development, execution and response to a critical conscious curriculum called “Let’s Talk.”
  • The curriculum design was based on findings from student and parental focus groups, and quantitative racial socialization measurement called the Cultural and Racial Ethnic Socialization (CARES; Bentley-Edwards & Stevenson, 2016).
  • Parents were concerned that children should not bear the burden of managing racism in a racially hostile school, but felt that these were lifelong skills that their children would ultimately need.
  • The students in the program were more aware of racial hierarchies and disparities in treatment than the adults in their lives realized, and this knowledge caused the students stress.
  • The results indicated that guided practice of racial/ethnic conflict resolution in specific relational interactions in the classroom provided an opportunity for students to analyze and negotiate student coping and lessen their stress in facing these dilemmas.

Read the full article here.