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Black Feminism and Black Women’s Interactions With Faculty in Higher Education  

Monica Allen, April Smith, and Sandra Dika

The legacies of slavery and exploitation continue to shape the opportunities and experiences of contemporary Black women in the United States. While college access and attainment has increased over the past few decades, Black women contend with negative stereotypes, experiences, and inequitable outcomes associated with the intersectionality of their race and gender. Feminist standpoint theory and Black feminist thought can be used as lenses to centralize Black women’s experiences and thoughts when aiming to understand how their interactions with faculty and other institutional agents can function as barriers to and facilitators of their educational persistence. When Black women feel acknowledged by faculty as competent individuals rather than stereotypes, their engagement, sense of belonging, and persistence are positively affected. Listening to and valuing the stories of Black women students is an essential step to bringing about necessary changes for educational equity on historically White campuses across the country.

Article

Sex Segregated Schools to Challenge Gender and Racial Bias  

Kathryn Herr, Kathleen Grant, and Jeremy Price

Sex segregated schooling in the United States is one of the fastest-growing movements in education in the 21st century. The current movement toward single-sex schooling is embedded in a national discourse of school choice and an adoption of market principles in education. This framing espouses that when schools compete for educational consumers, the needs of those currently underserved in U.S. schools will be better served and their academic performance will improve. Scholars argue that there are three main rationales typically put forward for sex segregated schools: they will eliminate distractions and harassment from the other sex; they can address the espoused different learning styles of boys and girls, and, finally, they can remedy inequities experienced by low-income students of color. Many of the single sex schools have large proportions of low-income youth of color. In general, while the sex segregated structure of these schools seems to offer opportunities to disrupt gendered stereotypes, there is little evidence that this occurs. Instead, as society’s conceptualizations of sexuality and gender evolve, single-sex education upholds a largely heteronormative and cisgendered understanding of gender and sexuality. Much of the research documents a reinforcement of gendered stereotypes and heterosexism. The literature on single-sex schools for boys also presents a puzzling mix of academic success for some boys, and no significant difference for others. There is little attention to the accomplishments and current experiences of girls in single-sex schools at the K–12 levels. Research shows that successful schools, whether they are single-sex or coeducational, tend to have factors in common like creating strong mentoring relationships and keeping smaller class sizes. In sum, research would indicate that the rationales noted earlier to justify the development of sex segregated schools are not much realized in the research.