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How Do We Move Forward?

by Francis Wardle and Patricia S. Vowell
January/February 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/how-do-we-move-forward/5025735/

This article is dedicated to Francis’s wife, Ruth E. Benjamin-Wardle, and Patricia’s mother, Enid Harris-Sherman.


I first met Patricia when she asked me to chair her doctoral study. During the doctoral process, I discovered that we had one huge thing in common: she was a Black woman with a white husband; I was a white man who had been married to a Black woman for over 40 years. This common intersection provided us with rich talking points and deep discussions.

Once the doctoral process was completed, one point of discussion that kept coming up was: how does America in the 21st century move forward in race relationships—especially in the field of education? There is a renewed interest in finding ways to address a variety of issues associated with race, bias and racism. To this end, two concepts keep coming up in the literature: intrinsic bias and white male privilege. Here we discuss these two important issues, and how they can be addressed as we make progress in educational equality.

—Francis Wardle

Intrinsic Bias

Francis: Whenever intrinsic bias is discussed in education, it is a white teacher or a white child who is the culprit. But bias is much more complex than this. We all have our ...

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