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Humanities Washington's Think & Drink: The Divided Classroom (Seattle)
Naked City Brewery
Seattle, WA
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Does a child learn better when their teacher looks like them?

The vast majority of teachers in Washington States K-12 schools are White (90%) and female (80%), yet the student body is only 56% White. This has led to what some call a culture gap---a huge proportion of students being taught by someone whose lived experience may be far different than theirs. This may contribute not only to lower grades and graduation rates, but higher rates of discipline.

But is a teacher's race even the issue? Is it more important to be of a similar religion, urban or rural background, or socioeconomic status? As a Black student put it in an article for the National Education Association, I probably had more in common with a White teacher from a lower-income background than I had with a Black teacher who grew up in a more affluent environment.

As America moves closer toward being a majority minority country, join us for a discussion on the culture gap in Washington's classrooms. Is increasing the number of teachers of color enough, or can cultural competency training close the culture gap regardless of a teachers background? Daudi Abe, Seattle Central College professor and journalist, and Kristin Leong, education activist, former teacher, and founder of, will explore the causes and solutions to our divided classrooms.
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Naked City Brewery (View)
8564 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
United States



Minimum Age: 21


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