This review of research examines classroom conversations about race with a theoretical framing oriented to understanding how such conversations may disrupt social and educational inequalities. The review covers research on how classroom conversations on race contribute to students’ and educators’ understandings of a racialized society, their construction of and reflection on relationships among students, as well as to their learning of academic content knowledge. The review considers research across grades P–12, as well as conversations in teacher education, with a specific focus on the U.S. context. Limiting the review to the U.S. context is done not to obfuscate conceptions of race and inequalities globally, but to elucidate how race becomes manifested in unique ways in the United States—often positioning African Americans and Blackness as the “fundamental other.” The review offers a social, historical, and political discussion that contextualizes how classroom conversations, and their omission, are not conversations only relegated to the classroom, but are part of a larger dialogue within the broader society.
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