February 16, 2006

Believe in color-blindness? RACIST!!

John Rosenberg nails another beaut. This time it's a "new study" by "a professor of education and black studies at the University of Missouri."

Kevin Cokley, associate professor of educational, school and counseling psychology in the MU College of Education and associate professor of black studies, found that colorblind attitudes are more accurate than racist attitudes in predicting someone's position on affirmative action. Previous research has focused on predicting affirmative action attitudes based on prejudice and modern racist ideals, such as the notion that discrimination is a thing of the past and that minorities are using unfair tactics, such as affirmative action, to gain access to institutions and professions where they are not wanted.

“It is important to point out that conceptually, color-blind attitudes are seen as a consequence of racism,” said Cokley, who co-authored the study with Germine Awad, a Fellow in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at St. Mary’s College. “Therefore, colorblind attitudes are related to, but distinct, from prejudice. A colorblind approach fails to recognize that discriminatory attitudes still persist, even in individuals who deny having prejudiced attitudes.”

Hold on, here's the money quote:

Black Americans ... display more favorable attitudes toward affirmative action and less colorblind and modern racist attitudes than whites.

Gotta love "studies," especially from a professor of educational, school and counseling psychology, and a Fellow in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership. Ugh.

Rosenberg rightly asks: "I would be curious to know the basis for Prof. Cokeley’s conclusion that '[a] colorblind approach fails to recognize that discriminatory attitudes still persist, even in individuals who deny having prejudiced attitudes,' since no one I know or read who believes in colorblindness denies that racism still exists." Indeed.

Speaking of education "studies," Joanne Jacobs notes how, well, "studies" conducted by academics in the field of education are turning into sorry jokes. Peggy Hsieh and Joel R. Levin conducted their own analysis on just how rigorous -- and valid -- many of these education studies are, and the results ain't good:

"The percentage of total articles in these four journals [Cognition & Instruction, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Experimental Education, American Educational Research Journal] based on randomized experiments decreased over the 21-year period in both the educational psychology journals (from 40 percent in 1983 to 34 percent in 1995 to 26 percent in 2004) and the American Educational Research Journal (from 33 percent to 17 percent to 4 percent)."

Cokley's "study" most likely fits that bill perfectly. And yet another example of why people give increasingly little weight to "educationists" who come in with "new research." Heck, just ask any teacher with at least ten years experience. They've probably seen/heard the same "theories" or "studies" packaged and repackaged time and again, just with new, nifty sounding names.

Posted by Felix at February 16, 2006 07:21 PM | TrackBack

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