"Race in the Schoolyard is a wonderful book for social scientists studying race, education, and childhood studies. The book showcases the talents of a gifted fieldworker whose theoretically rich work sits on the cutting edge of a growing body of scholarship examining the social worlds of children. School officials, parents, and, most especially, a new generation of teachers will benefit from these lessons on race."-American Journal of Sociology
"Instructors may recommend this book to students to whom the topic is surely vital and engrossing and for whom the text will be lively and engaging."-Contemporary Sociology
"Lewis moves beyond traditional research methods used to examine achievement gaps and differences in test scores to look closely at the realities of schooling. I highly recommend this work for every person involved in teaching and learning."-Multicultural Review
"Through eloquent case studies of three California elementary schools-a white-majority 'good' school, a mostly minority 'tough' school, and an integrated 'alternative' school-[Lewis] demonstrates that schools promote racial inequalities through their daily rituals and practices. Even the notion of a "color-blind" America-an especially popular ideal in the white school-perpetuates racism, Lewis argues, because it denies or dismisses the very real constraints that schools place on minorities. Lewis is nevertheless an optimist, insisting that schools can change ideas of race. . . . Highly recommended. Undergraduate collections and above."-Choice
"In this pioneering ethnography in elementary schools, Lewis shows brilliantly how racism is taught and learned in the small places of everyday life."-Joe Feagin, University of Florida and author of Racist America
"A wonderful and timely book. Ethnographically rich, theoretically sophisticated, and clearly written, this book addresses the ubiquitous issue of race in all its complexity."-Michèle Foster, author of Black Teachers on Teaching
"A compelling ethnography of the racial landscape of contemporary schools."-Barrie Thorne, author of Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School
Could your kids be learning a fourth R at school: reading, writing, 'rithmatic, and race?
Race in the Schoolyard takes us to a place most of us seldom get to see in action¾ our children's classrooms¾ and reveals the lessons about race that are communicated there. Amanda E. Lewis spent a year observing classes at three elementary schools, two multiracial urban and one white suburban. While race of course is not officially taught like multiplication and punctuation, she finds that it nonetheless insinuates itself into everyday life in schools.
Lewis explains how the curriculum, both expressed and hidden, conveys many racial lessons. While teachers and other school community members verbally deny the salience of race, she illustrates how it does influence the way they understand the world, interact with each other, and teach children. This eye-opening text is important reading for educators, parents, and scholars alike.