Colorblindness is a racial ideology that posits treating individuals equally regardless of their race, ethnicity, or culture (Banks, 2012). At face value, most people believe that it is the best way to end racial discrimination. Unfortunately, in today’s diverse society, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate cultural and ethnic differences. With this knowledge, we analyze whether the colorblind perspective can be applied in other areas of diversity such as sexual orientation, gender, social class, special needs, or religion within the instructional setting.
The modern-day American education system is founded upon the principle of equality regardless of cultural or other differences. Education provides equal opportunities for people to transcend beyond social, economic, physical, or cultural barriers and achieve their dreams (Autin, Batruch, & Butera, 2015). Diverse classrooms provide an environment where children embrace cultural differences and eliminate barriers of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, and social class among others. As Moore and Hansen (2012) assert, for students to excel in education, teachers must be sensitive to their differences. The instructional setting should be culturally sensitive and implement differentiated instructional strategies to meet the diverse student learning needs.
The ideology of color-blindness views people strictly as individuals and ignores the social, cultural, or ethnic differences. Notably, although color-blindness can be ideal in eliminating racial discrimination in the society, introducing a color-blind perspective in the classroom would overlook the diversity of the students. The perspective would also ignore education equality, discourage students’ empowerment, and eliminate the concept of multicultural education, which recognizes the uniqueness of the leaners. Additionally, colorblindness in the classroom also eliminates a safe setting for students to discuss differences such as religion, social class, sexual orientation, or gender. Denying learners, this opportunity may result in misunderstandings and internalized stereotypes.
Educators have a responsibility to embrace diversity in the classroom. Colorblindness works against the purpose of equal education opportunities. Adopting this perspective in the classroom also inhibits the ability of the teacher to recognize the uniqueness of each student and assist special needs learners.
Autin, F., Batruch, A., & Butera, F. (2015). Social justice in education: how the function of selection in educational institutions predicts support for (non)egalitarian assessment practices. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(707), 1-13.
Banks, J. A. (2012). Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.Moore, K. D., & Hansen, J. R. (2012). Effective strategies for teaching in K-8 classrooms. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
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