Seattle-Based Researchers Publish Study On ‘Whiteness’ In Introductory To Physics Classes

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Chrissy Clark Contributor
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Two Seattle-based researchers published a study on March 11 condemning the impact that “whiteness” has on introductory physics classes, according to an abstract of the study.

The study’s goal is to provide educators with “analytic markers” for “identifying whiteness” in introductory physics classrooms. The abstract describes “whiteness” as “dominance, control, and a transcendent figure that is consistently and structurally ascribed value over and above other figures” that should be viewed through the lens of “Critical Whiteness Studies” and “Critical Race Theory.”

“We name mechanisms that facilitate the reproduction of whiteness in this local context, including a particular representation of energy, physics values, whiteboards, gendered social norms, and the structure of schooling,” the study read. “We hope our work contributes to Critical Whiteness Studies’ goal of dismantling whiteness.”

The presumption of the study upholds that if the number of students of color who graduate with physics degrees is disproportionate to the population, there must be systemic racism at hand.

The study called for “white people’s action,” including in physics classrooms, to revolve around the “antiracist” narrative, according to the study. (RELATED: Middle School Teacher Assigned 7th Graders Book On Illegal Immigration)

“White people’s action needs to be informed by an antiracist lens, which includes an awareness of how whiteness is functioning in organizational spaces,” the study read. “We hope our work does not end with developing awareness but also inspires us to ask questions about what all of this means for classroom practice.”

Research Professor Amy Robertson from Seattle Pacific University and W. Tali Hairston, the owner of Equitable Development LLC, co-authored the study. Robertson’s other work includes a 2017 study on “Unveiling privilege to broaden participation in physics.”

Robertson is a recipient of federally funded grants and did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on whether those grants were used to fund her newly released study.