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Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction

Microaggressions

In Moule’s primer, the focus in chapter 3 is dedicated to unconscious bias, unintentional racism, and micro-aggressions. She highlights the hard work of honesty, overcoming fears, and reprogramming responses and digs into how to do so.

The chapter makes room for connections and reflections, how to address stereotypical and prejudicial statements with steps and examples, and lastly provides applicable classroom activities. This could be enlightening as well as practical for librarians as they do their own foundational reflection and equips them with the tools to address problematic statements made in the classroom.

Tags: Foundational Work; Practical; Microaggressions

Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators is an excellent resource and it should be read by all types and levels of educators, including librarians. Chapter 4, “Understanding Privilege and Racial Consciousness among Whites,” is a challenging and powerful article. The chapter examines the concept of White privilege, including the ways that European Americans are afforded certain benefits and rights based solely on the color of their skin. The author also points out how it is difficult for Whites to acknowledge the existence of such privilege. Throughout the chapter, the concepts of racial consciousness and how Whites think about race and racial differences are explored. For example, “White” and “American” has become synonymous in many people’s minds. Numerous examples are provided that demonstrate how White privilege is infused into the very fabric of American Society. In order to acknowledge white privilege, Whites need to take personal responsibility to change and grow, including becoming aware of and working through unconscious feelings and beliefs about one’s connections to race and ethnicity. The author also includes a description of identity development in the college classroom. Educators need to be aware of the existence of white privilege and its influence on teacher-student behavior. If white educators can acknowledge the centrality of race to a non-white student and grasp the nature of their own attitudes and about racial differences, the cultural distance between them can be reduced. One of the best attributes of this chapter is the inclusion of two reflection exercises, “Becoming Aware of Race” and “Costs of Racism to White People.” Librarians will greatly benefit from completing the exercises and reflecting upon them. Highly recommended.

Tags: Practical; Theoretical; Foundational Work; Structural Racism; Microaggressions

This article provides a helpful definition and typology of microaggressions. Whereas most microaggression literature relies on retrospective interviews with student and faculty who perpetrated or were victims of microaggressions, this study incorporates actual classroom observation of microaggressions in real-time. This article can serve as a guide for library instructors who are seeking to learn how to avoid committing microaggressions or to detect microaggressions in the classroom. However, this article does not lend much in the way of classroom strategies for resolving the conflict created by microaggressions. The authors stress that the article focuses specifically on microaggressions that occur at community colleges. It is worth noting that the character and nature of microaggressions described in the study might vary from those found in other educational settings.

Tags: Practical; Microaggressions

This qualitative study ties the difficult conversations and experiences students have when racial micro-aggressions appear in the classroom. Touchy dialogues are fueled by strong emotions, personal histories, and worldview that are often difficult for students and instructors to participate in. When these conversations are not adequately facilitated the dignity of students of color is abused and the biased and privileged worldview of white students are upheld. The overall impact of a race dialogue hinges on the mindset, preparation, and facilitation of the instructor.

The article does present specific ways in which teachers can pursue professional development and approaches that can ease these difficult dialogues. The articles are foundational for the understanding of micro-aggressions and their prevalence in the classroom learning environment. This article has implications that can be quite insightful for instructors/librarians.

Tags: Foundational Work; Practical; Microaggressions

The Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction project (IP4LI) is a collaboration of librarians from several small, liberal arts colleges to discover resources and best practices for applying inclusive pedagogy in library instruction settings, particularly one-shot sessions. It is supported by a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.
Birmingham-Southern College Davidson College Furman University Sewanee - The University of the South University of Richmond Washington & Lee University