Racial segregation and its influence on children’s education continues to be a topic researched by many scholars. A peer-reviewed article by Charles Seguin, Annette Nierobis, and Karen Phelan Kozlowski focus on the impacts of racial segregation and the importance of educating students about these issues. Authors Angelique J. Trask-Tate, Michael Cunningham, and Samantha Francois also address the issue of racial segregation in their peer-reviewed article.
Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski note that neighborhoods that remain highly segregated tend to have more inequalities. Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois offered a theoretical frame work that looks at how risk factors contribute to the unproductive outcomes of young students of color. This phenomenal variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST) examines the developmental outcomes of racially minority youths and how they are influenced by contextual risk, protective factors, and the challenges that come from these factors (Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois, 2014). Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois also discuss how racial discrimination within schools. Based on their research, approximately one half of African-American students have reported that because of their race they have been “discouraged from joining advanced level courses, unfairly disciplined, or have received lower than deserved grades from adults in the school setting” (Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois, 2014).
Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski’s article also focused on how many students who grew up in racially segregated spaces have had limited exposure to racial diversity. There is also a lack of awareness that racial residential segregation still exists and is an issue across the United States (Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski, 2017).
As a result of living in a segregated community that’s either advantaged or disadvantaged, students are less likely to be able to “identify or perceive social injustice stemming from inequality” than students who come from racially integrated spaces (Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski, 2017). Parents of minority students may fear that their children will be discriminated against at certain schools and as a response will send their children to predominately minority schools with the hopes of buffer their child’s experiences with discrimination (Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois, 2014). This process has been coined as ‘racial socialization’ and recognizes that race is still a social construct that is associated with institutional racism (Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois, 2014).
Educating students about racial segregation is just as important as educating the general public; however, Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski have found that merely telling students about racial inequality is not the most effective strategy. They suggest an activity that they conducted with an Introduction to Sociology class that uses active learning, visual representation, and personal experience to convery the impact of racial segregation in our cities today. The activity was called the Racial Dot Map and tasked students with identifying residential racial segregation patterns in cities across the United States (Seguin, Nierobis, and Kozlowski 2017).
Trask-Tate, Cunningham, and Francois concluded that indirect cultural socialization would result in positive academic outcomes for African-American students as well as strengthen the students’ ethnic affirmation.