University of South Carolina education courses centered on ‘social justice, anti-racism’

FIRST ON FOX: The University of South Carolina’s College of Education prepares teachers to “dismantle” racism with “culturally responsive teaching,” though a state budget proviso prohibits critical race theory instruction in public schools.  The College of Education supports teachers who “act as change agents to dismantle, eliminate, and replace institutional and individual injustices,” a document obtained by Fox News Digital detailing the college’s goals for the future said. The university’s education program commits to developing its students’ ability to “identify individual and systemic privilege, disenfranchisement, oppression, and silencing” while affirming students’ expertise regarding race, gender identification, sexual orientation, and more.  RED STATES OUTPACING PROGRESSIVE-RUN STATES IN ‘RACIAL EQUALITY IN EDUCATION,’ NEW STUDY REVEALS Adam Mahdavi, a 2022 University of South Carolina graduate, said he felt the education faculty targeted White, straight, Christian males like himself.  “If you’re vocal about your Christianity, conservatism, constitutional Republicanism, if you voice that out, you will be a target every single day,” Mahdavi told Fox Digital. “And they’ll try to make you want to quit.” The education college offers a number of courses that prepare future educators to integrate critical race theory into their classrooms.  A course preparing future middle school teachers to construct curriculum contains overarching themes of “social justice & antiracism,” according to Mahdavi’s fall 2021 course syllabus. “Antiracist education is a theory of learning and action to help us do the important work of dismantling racism in schools,” the syllabus reads. “Given this, the course stands on the beliefs that teacher candidates should be reflective, responsive teacher-leaders who effectively address the inequities of policies, practices, and achievement related to race, gender, class, and linguistic differences.” The course, titled “Integrated Curriculum at the Middle Level,” explores “culturally responsive teaching” to help sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade teachers understand how curriculum “acts as a gatekeeper to future opportunities for children from different ethnic groups and low socioeconomic backgrounds.” The syllabus claims the course content is consistent with USC education department’s mission, which includes preparing teachers “to be proficient in culturally relevant, anti-racist, pro-Black instruction; and to promote democratic principles and ideas within and across all educational settings.” The College of Education’s mission statement was taken down from the website following Fox News Digital’s inquiry and now goes to a 404 page. The professor assigned students in the EDTE 522 course a “critical synthesis” project, where students identified the implications of bias, discrimination and educational inequities in a 10-12 minute podcast.  The rubric for the assignment names two themes: “anti-racism education as it relates to teaching and planning curriculum for middle level students” and “addressing issues of bias, discrimination, and educational inequities through integrated curriculum for middle level students.” CALIFORNIA ENGLISH TEACHER TEACHES KIDS GRAMMAR IS PART OF WHITE SUPREMACY: ‘UNDERMINE THAT B.S.’ Another course, called “Antiracist Education,” covers topics including “individual and institutional racism, overt and covert racism, curriculum, textbooks, power relationships, teacher-student relationships, and privacy.” A graduate-level class titled “Critical Race Theory in Education” is “a study of race and racism as the primary lens of analysis in educational, social, and political issues,” according to the USC course catalog. The “Schools in Communities” course teaches students to “analyze the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and sexuality and how it shapes the professional identity of teachers.” Students learn to “evaluate the impact of teachers and schools on marginalized communities schooling through historic, social, cultural, and philosophical lenses,” according to Mahdavi’s Spring 2020 syllabus. ​The course seeks to answer a number of questions on intersectionality and identity, including “What is race and racism;” “What are the past(s), present(s), and future(s) of school segregation and inequity;” and “How does sexuality and gender impact the experiences of teachers and student.” Mahdavi wants parents to be aware of how their children’s teachers were trained. He said the University of South Carolina prepares teachers to circumvent South Carolina’s budget stipulation which prohibits critical race theory-derived ideas through the school funding process. “They’re very, very, very careful with their wording,” he said. “They are experts at going around their elbows to get to their nose.” Associate Director of News and Internal Communications at the University of South Carolina Jeffrey Strensland told Fox Digital there is no mandatory DEI training, but did not respond to a request for comment about the College of Education curriculum. 
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