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The Innocent Classroom
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The Innocent Classroom
Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color
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When children of color enter their classrooms each year, many often encounter low expectations, disconnection, and other barriers to their success. In The Innocent Classroom, Alexs Pate traces the...
When children of color enter their classrooms each year, many often encounter low expectations, disconnection, and other barriers to their success. In The Innocent Classroom, Alexs Pate traces the...
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  • When children of color enter their classrooms each year, many often encounter low expectations, disconnection, and other barriers to their success. In The Innocent Classroom, Alexs Pate traces the roots of these disparities to pervasive negative stereotypes, which children are made aware of before they even walk through the school door. The cumulative weight of these stereotypes eventually takes shape as guilt, which inhibits students' engagement, learning, and relationships and hurts their prospects for the future.

    If guilt is the primary barrier for children of color in the classroom, then the solution, according to Pate, is to create an Innocent Classroom that neutralizes students' guilt and restores their innocence. To do so, readers will embark on a relationship "construction project" in which they will deepen their understanding of how children of color are burdened with guilt; discover students' "good," or the motivation behind their behaviors, and develop strategic responses to that good; and nurture, protect, and advocate for students' innocence.

    Ultimately, students will reclaim their innocence and begin to make choices that will lead to their success. Teachers will renew their commitment to their students. And the current ineffective system can give way to one that reflects a more enlightened understanding of who our children are—and what they are capable of.

About the Author-

  • Alexs Pate is the President and CEO of Innocent Technologies and the creator of the Innocent Classroom, a program for K–12 educators that aims to transform U.S. public education and end disparities by closing the relationship gap between educators and students of color. The Innocent Classroom has partnered with districts and schools throughout the United States, training more than 7,000 educators. The success of the Innocent Classroom has led to the development of Innocent Classroom for Early Childhood Educators and Innocent Care training for healthcare professionals to build connections with their patients. Alexs is the author of five novels, including the New York Times best-seller Amistad. Prior to these pursuits, Alexs was a professor and teacher at Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, Naropa University, and the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Creative Writing Program, where he also earned an MFA.

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The Innocent Classroom
The Innocent Classroom
Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color
Alexs Pate
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