Reading: Classroom Modalities; Kochman, T ‘blacks/whites’:
Blacks believe not that whites hold on position on an issue, but rather, that they are reluctant to reveal their position in the classroom. If the majority of class is black, they are likely to be sympathietc towards white silence, often being the silent minority themselves. But then when its 50:50, blacks are not inclined to interpret or accept white’s lack of participation as a reaction to a risk factor.Instead, it is viewed as intransigence and a refusal to engage in the struggle through which opposing ideas are tested and validated.
White’s resent being called upon to justify their silence. They do not consider talking in class something that can be demanded, after all, as it is their right to remain silent if they choose. Such questions are seen by white students as outside the boundaries of ‘class discussion’. Black, however, do not agree that silence is a right in this instance, since it is what they regard as obligatory behaviour for engaging in debate. To refuse to participate is considered ‘cheating’.Blacks disagree with the white belief that probing into an individual’s personal viewpoint is outside the boundaries of class discussion. This is because they feel that all views expressed and actions take derive from a central set of core beliefs that cannot be other than personal.
Collisions between black and white students in the classroom are also caused by different procedures for turn-taking or claiming the floor. The white classroom rule is to raise your hand, be recognized by the instructor and take a turn in the order in which you are recognized. However, on the other hand, the black rule is to come in when you can. Because of the competitive nature of black turn-taking, occasionally two or more people are talking at the same time, though not necessarily to the same audience.
In a class with whites, in which the ratio is 50:50, the same black attitude...