First Year Curriculum On Students Racial Attitudes


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First Year Curriculum On Students Racial Attitudes

  1. 1. Measuring the Impact of First-Year Curriculum on Students’ Racial Attitudes Michael R. Mason Kent State University
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>FYC, FlashTopics, and Hip Hop America </li></ul><ul><li>Research Informing Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Course Design and Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Study Design </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Questions/Discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. First Year Colloquium (FYC) <ul><li>Assist students with transition to academic community </li></ul><ul><li>Expose students to resources and personal growth opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate students into campus community </li></ul><ul><li>Graduation requirement </li></ul>
  4. 4. FlashTopics <ul><li>Pilot program introduced in 2007 (over 50 offered in Fall, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty create course based on personal/professional interests </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate important aspects of traditional FYC curriculum while remaining topical </li></ul>
  5. 5. FlashTopic Goals <ul><li>Foster greater student-faculty interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage active participation in intellectual community </li></ul><ul><li>Develop shared passion for subject or scholarly topic </li></ul><ul><li>Promote: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thoughtful reading/writing </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Hip-Hop America <ul><li>History, evolution, and significance of hip-hop music and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Historical, social, political influence that have shaped hip-hop music and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of hip-hop music and culture on America </li></ul><ul><li>Various cultural values and perspectives represented in hip-hop music and culture </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Focus on Diversity? <ul><li>Changing demographics of institution and society </li></ul><ul><li>Critical issues in the U.S. (e.g. racial profiling, immigration) </li></ul><ul><li>40% of Princeton Review’s 331 best colleges & universities include diversity as part of mission (Meacham & Barrett, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>For instance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… engage students in diverse learning environments that educate them to think critically and to expand their intellectual horizons while attaining the knowledge and skills necessary for responsible citizenship… (KSU Mission Statement) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value diverse backgrounds, cultures, ideas, and lifestyles (KSU Core Values) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage in learning, value differences, embrace community, reflect on the past (KSU FYE) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Diversity & Student Learning <ul><li>Curricula that addresses diversity issues promotes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical Thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems solving skills </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Diversity & Student Learning <ul><li>Diversity experiences increase students’ outcomes on learning and democracy measurements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning outcomes: active thinking skills, intellectual engagement and motivation, academic skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratic outcomes: perspective-taking, capacity to perceive difference within and between social groups, citizen participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Includes multicultural education and experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Attained through cognitive dissonance and perspective-taking </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogies should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate diverse perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster active thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote intellectual engagement </li></ul></ul>(Gurin et al., 2002)
  10. 10. Diversity & Student Learning <ul><li>Compared first-year success course to introductory communication and engineering courses </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporating multicultural and social justice content into first-year success courses had positive effect on learning democracy outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding/awareness of multicultural issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to social justice and active thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contributes to attainment of democratic, civic, social justice aspects of institutional mission </li></ul><ul><li>Prepares students for roles as citizens within diverse and democratic society </li></ul>(Engberg & Mayhew, 2007)
  11. 11. Media Influences <ul><li>Media influences how individuals make meaning of experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches about others in unconscious ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research has shown adults construct identities in light of popular culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can reproduce stereotypes and reinforce values of dominant culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can also challenge norms </li></ul></ul>(Tisdell & Thompson, 2007)
  12. 12. Media Literacy <ul><li>Critical media literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches to challenge power relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deconstructing and analyzing entertainment is form of critical pedagogy - provides texts for analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide ways to understand others from marginalized groups </li></ul></ul>(Tisdell & Thompson, 2007)
  13. 13. Learning & the Arts <ul><li>Arts give adults experiences, context, and tools through which to learn about difference </li></ul><ul><li>Forms bridges that cross racial and ethnic lines </li></ul><ul><li>Taps into multiple ways of knowing </li></ul><ul><li>Arts create and place people in situations where there is greater diversity than elsewhere in their lives </li></ul>(Wesley, 2007)
  14. 14. Critical Pedagogy & Social Justice <ul><li>Identification and examination of social inequalities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dismantle systems of oppression </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasize critical thinking skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examination of social structures that contribute to privilege, power and dominance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understanding that media-driven culture shapes students’ cultural lenses </li></ul><ul><li>Education, social justice, and democracy are fundamentally related </li></ul>
  15. 15. Hip-Hop as Critical Pedagogy <ul><li>Hip-hop is cultural discourse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can create “oppositional consciousness” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages recognition of racism and capitalist exploitation (Freitas, 2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides outlet for marginalized groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ghetto CNN” - Chuck D, Public Enemy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hip-hop represents shift in ideological paradigm that challenges view of popular culture (Hanley, 2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative lens through which to view dominant culture </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Hip-Hop in the Classroom <ul><li>Provides venue to understand collective experience of others (Clay, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Transformative element in the the development of critical thinking and learning (Stovall, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Bridges course content with part of students’ lives (Stovall, 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger connection to material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater response to concepts </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Hip-Hop in the Classroom <ul><li>Students have foundation of knowledge to share </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages active participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connects to individual experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides common ground for students and instructor to relate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases faculty/student interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement in academic community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appeals to students across various groups (race, gender, class) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for diverse interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchange of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perspective / experience sharing </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Class Structure <ul><li>In-class listening and discussion (small group and whole class) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigned readings in preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflection papers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on articles, current events, class discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Documentaries/films </li></ul><ul><li>Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture </li></ul><ul><li>Final projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary, verse/spoken word, lyrical analysis, individualized project </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Hip-Hop Texts <ul><li>Themes addressed in class included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip-Hop and History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gangsta Rap: Realities and Myths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Police Brutality and Racial Profiling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics and Hip-Hop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip-Hop as Social Commentary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sexism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capitalism and Hip-Hop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privilege and Power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focused on topics both within and outside of hip-hop </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasized connections to society beyond hip-hop </li></ul>
  20. 20. History of Hip-Hop <ul><li>The historical context out of which hip-hop was born provides a basis for understanding its educational possibilities (Hanley, 2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1970’s Bronx, NY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post civil-rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic despair </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economic/social consequences of Regan era </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Affirmative Action” & “Reganomics” rappers (Guy, 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Black power movement </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty-inspired innovation </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Message – Grandmaster Flash, 1982 <ul><li>Bill collectors they ring my phone </li></ul><ul><li>And scare my wife when I’m not home </li></ul><ul><li>Got a bum education, double-digit inflation </li></ul><ul><li>Cant take the train to the job, there’s a strike at the station </li></ul><ul><li>A child was born, with no state of mind </li></ul><ul><li>Blind to the ways of mankind </li></ul><ul><li>God is smiling on you but he’s frowning too </li></ul><ul><li>Cause only God knows what you go through </li></ul><ul><li>You grow in the ghetto, living second rate </li></ul><ul><li>And your eyes will sing a song of deep deep hate </li></ul>
  22. 22. Gangsta Rap <ul><li>Black power movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LA gang culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LA Riots </li></ul><ul><li>Crack epidemic </li></ul><ul><li>Violence associated with poverty and hopelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Contradictions between reality and fantasy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical thinking regarding capitalism </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Structural Racism <ul><li>Narratives detailing experiences within the justice system (i.e. racial profiling, police brutality) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yeah, officer from overseer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You need a little clarity? Check the similarity! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The overseer rode around the plantation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The officer is off patrolling all the nation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The overseer could stop you what you're doing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The officer will pull you over just when he's pursuing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The overseer had the right to get ill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And if you fought back, the overseer had the right to kill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The officer has the right to arrest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And if you fight back they put a hole in your chest! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They both ride horses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>After 400 years, I've got no choices! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Sound of da Police”, KRS-ONE </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Politics in Hip-Hop <ul><li>All they talk about is terrorism on television </li></ul><ul><li>They tell you to listen, but they don't really tell you they mission </li></ul><ul><li>They funded Al-Qaeda, and now they blame the Muslim religion </li></ul><ul><li>Even though Bin Laden, was a CIA tactician </li></ul><ul><li>They gave him billions of dollars, and they funded his purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Fahrenheit 9/11, that's just scratchin' the surface </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bin Laden”, Immortal Technique </li></ul><ul><li>“ </li></ul>
  25. 25. Social Commentary <ul><li>It ain't right them cops and them firemen died </li></ul><ul><li>The [stuff] is real tragic, but it darn sure ain't magic </li></ul><ul><li>It won't make the brutality disappear </li></ul><ul><li>It won't pull equality from behind your ear </li></ul><ul><li>It won't make a difference in a two-party country </li></ul><ul><li>If the president cheats, to win another four years </li></ul><ul><li>Now don't get me wrong, there's no place I'd rather be </li></ul><ul><li>The grass ain't greener on the other genocide </li></ul><ul><li>But tell Huey Freeman don't forget to cut the lawn </li></ul><ul><li>And uproot the weeds </li></ul><ul><li>Cuz I'm not satisfied </li></ul><ul><li>“ Satisfied”, J-Live </li></ul>
  26. 26. Sexism <ul><li>Artists address subject in lyrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“U.N.I.T.Y”, Queen Latifah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Keep Ya Head Up”, Tupac </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Existence of sexist images in lyrics and video content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connections between hip-hop and greater society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Male dominance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Homophobia </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Capitalism <ul><li>Elvis was a hero to most </li></ul><ul><li>But he never meant ---- to me you see </li></ul><ul><li>Straight up racist that sucker was </li></ul><ul><li>Simple and plain </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fight the Power”, Public Enemy </li></ul><ul><li>Old white men is runnin’ this rap biz </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate forces is runnin’ this rap biz </li></ul><ul><li>AOL and Time Warner runnin’ this rap biz </li></ul><ul><li>We poke out our [booties] for a chance to cash in </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Rape Over”, Mos Def </li></ul>
  28. 28. White Privilege <ul><li>Is it fair, is it equal, is it just, is it right? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you do the same [things] when the defendant face is white? </li></ul><ul><li>If white boys doin it, well, it's success </li></ul><ul><li>When I start doin, well, it's suspect </li></ul><ul><li>Don't hate me, my folks is poor, I just got money </li></ul><ul><li>America's five centuries deep in cotton money </li></ul><ul><li>-Mos Def </li></ul><ul><li>Let's do the math </li></ul><ul><li>If I was black I woulda sold half </li></ul><ul><li>Sittin' back look at this [stuff] wow </li></ul><ul><li>I'm like &quot;My skin, is it startin' to work to my benefit now?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ White America”, Eminem </li></ul>
  29. 29. Study <ul><li>Three groups: FY exploratory majors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip Hop America (n=18) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 White, 8 African American </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional FYC 1 (n=17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15 White, 1 African American, 1 Middle Eastern </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional FYC 2 (n=17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>17 White, 1 African American </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre/Post-Test given during first and last class meetings (15 week semester) </li></ul>
  30. 30. CoBRAS <ul><li>Color Blind Racial Attitudes Scale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Belief that race should not and does not matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The continuance of racism makes it impossible to ignore the impact of race in people’s experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plays a role in current racial divisions and inequity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Impedes individuals’ ability to succeed educationally and economically </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Three Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Racial privilege (white privilege) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blatant racial issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Neville, et al., 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Results <ul><li>White students in HHA made statistically significant gains in awareness of blatant racial issues (third factor) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Became more aware of racial discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ANOVA revealed no pre-test difference between groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-test ANOVA revealed difference between groups, t-test confirmed significant change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>African-American students did not experience significant change on any factor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-test and post-test scores indicated high awareness on all factors </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Discussion <ul><li>Hip-hop pedagogy effective in increasing white students’ awareness of racial issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributes to mission objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hip-hop studies course </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Traditional FYC courses not effective in changing students’ racial attitudes </li></ul>
  33. 33. Future Research <ul><li>Call for further study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Larger sample size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased class time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More African-American students, other demographic groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure impact on other variables (learning & democracy outcomes) </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Resources <ul><li>Clay, A. (2006). All I need is one mic: Mobilizing youth for social change in the post-civil rights era. Social Justice, 33 (2), 105-121. </li></ul><ul><li>Engberg, M. E., & Mayhew, M. J. (2007). The influence of first-year “success” courses on student learning and democratic outcomes. Journal of College Student Development, 48 (3), 241-256. </li></ul><ul><li>Freitas, E. (2005). Pre-service teachers and the re-inscription of whiteness: Disrupting dominant cultural codes through textual analysis. Teaching Education, 16 (2), 151-164. </li></ul><ul><li>Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72 (3), 330-367. </li></ul><ul><li>Guy, T. C. (2004). Gangsta rap and adult education. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 101 , 43-57. </li></ul><ul><li>Hanley, M. S. (2007). Old school crossings: Hip hop in teacher education and beyond. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 115 , 35-44. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Resources <ul><li>Meacham, J., & Barrett, C. (2003). Commitment to diversity in institutional mission statements. Diversity Digest, 7, 6-8. </li></ul><ul><li>Neville, H. A., Lilly, R. L., Duran, G., Lee, R. M., Brown, L. (2000). Construction and initial validation of the color-blind racial attitudes scale (cobras). Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47 (1), 59-70. </li></ul><ul><li>Stovall, D. (2006). We can relate: Hip-hop culture, critical pedagogy, and the secondary classroom. Urban Education, 41 (6), 585-602. </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdell, E. J., & Thompson, P. M. (2007). Seeing from a different angle: The role of pop culture in teaching for diversity and critical media literacy in adult education. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26 (6), 651-673. </li></ul><ul><li>Wesley, S. (2007). Multicultural diversity: Learning through the arts. New Directions in Adult and Continuing Education, 116 , 13-23. </li></ul>