October 5, 1992 · Cavalier Daily

Educators Talk About Prejudices

A day-long panel fosters discussion of gender and racial stereotypes in pre-collegiate education. Education Secretary James Dyke advocates increased hiring of women and minorities to leadership positions in education.


Cavalier Daily Oct 5, 1992 - Educators Talk About Prejudices; Groups React to Law Regulating Abortion Counseling in Clinics.pdf
Tammy Allen, Toby Reut
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Educators Talk About Prejudices
Cavalier Daily Staff Writer
“What Difference Does It Make?” was the question Virginia school professionals discussed at a daylong series of workshops Saturday at Zehmer Hall, addressing issues of gender and racial equality in the state education system.
Panels discussed topics such as gendered teaching and gender and race stereotypes in film and advertising, while workshops provided information on sexual harassment, sex-role stereotyping and class, gender and race implications in the classroom.
In his opening remarks, Virginia Education Secretary James Dyke said although teachers usually do not intentionally show gender or race prejudice in the classroom, they may unknowingly discriminate against blacks or females, so “we must raise our voices and tell them what they're doing wrong.”
Teachers often have “lower expectations because of color,” Dyke said. “We must be sensible about the kinds of messages we send out and treat everyone how he wants to be treated.”
He said stereotypes are first formed between kindergarten and high school, so the school system is “where the real solution begins.”
Children need “to see women and minorities as very positive images” through role models, Dyke is “pushing for the day that Virginia has the appropriate numbers” of these people in leading education positions, he added.
The audience was shocked when, while speaking of gender equity, Dyke noted only six of 139 Virginia kindergarten through high school superintendents and principals are women.
When speaking about higher education, he said Virginia needs more female sports coaches as well as more female presidents of colleges.
He said he does not believe educators can passively allow these gender and racial inequities to continue. Educators “must be courageous enough to stand up and say something” about them, Dyke said.
He said he plans to take “bold, decisive action” against discrimination, making changes which are “radical stuff.” “Education is the passport to the future,” he said, adding that he wants that passport to be equally available to all students.
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