Racial and Language Microaggressions in the School Ecology
culturally sustaining practices, linguistic diversity, microaggression, teachers
Perspectives on Psychological Science
The growth trajectory of ethnically and linguistically diverse individuals in the United States, particularly for youth, compels the education system to have urgent awareness of how diverse aspects of culture (e.g., Spanish-speaking, Black Latina student) are implicated in outcomes in American school systems. Students spend a significant amount of time in the school ecology, and this experience plays an important role in their well-being. Diverse ethnic, racial, and linguistic students face significant challenges and are placed at considerable risk by long-observed structural inequities evidenced in society and schools. Teachers must develop the capacity to be culturally sensitive, provide culturally responsive pedagogy, and regularly self-assess for biases implicated in positive academic outcomes for students in kindergarten through Grade 12. Research and practice have suggested that racism and discrimination in the form of racial microaggressions are observed daily in schools and classrooms. This article provides an overview of racial microaggressions in the school context and their damaging effects on students. We provide specific examples of microaggressions that may be observed in the U.S. classroom environment and how schools can serve as a positive intervention point to ameliorate racism, discrimination, and racial and language microaggressions. This comprehensive approach blends theory with practice to support the continued development of cultural humility, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and an equity-responsive climate.
Center for Educational Transformation
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Steketee, Anne; Williams, Monnica T.; Valencia, Beatriz T.; Printz, Destiny; and Hooper, Lisa M., "Racial and Language Microaggressions in the School Ecology" (2021). Faculty Publications. 31.