Beyond integration: How teachers can encourage cross-racial friendships
There's a reason Jose Luis Vilson's students learn in groups: He wants them to feel comfortable working with anyone in the classroom, something he's realized in his 11 years of teaching doesn't always come naturally. "I don't really give students a chance to self-select until later on, when I feel like they can pretty much group with anybody," he says. Vilson teaches math at a public middle school just north of Harlem in New York City. Most of his students are Latino and African-American, and Vilson pays close attention to the fact that their racial identities affect their experiences in the classroom.
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