Racial segregation and desegregation practices have deeply impacted the teacher pipeline, contributing to historical assumptions of teaching as a white profession. The Brown vs Board of Education rulings, while couched within a narrative of social progress, have instead been a step backwards for racial equity in schools. The authors use Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies to demonstrate how teachers of color are racialized through the centering of whiteness in schools, minoritized in contrast to their white counterparts, and de-centered through performativities of race and whiteness as ideologies. The authors share “small teaching episodes” from eight Black, Latina, and Asian female teachers who all work in predominantly white schools, illuminating the ways the teachers resisted discourses of whiteness by enacting agency within their teaching contexts. From the historical backdrop of racism and segregation to theoretical underpinnings, the counterstories of the teachers presented in this book indicate how teachers might utilize their personal experiences of marginalization to problematize invisible racism, colorblindness, and white neutrality, moving towards an empowered sense of self. The collective narrative highlights the potential for culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies to support teachers of color in negotiating whiteness and working for social justice.
Mara Simon is assistant professor of physical education and health education at Springfield College.
Laura Azzarito is associate professor of physical culture and education at the Teachers College of Columbia University.
Chapter 1: Whiteness and “other” teachers: An historical view
Chapter 2: Colorblindness and the need for Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) in education
Chapter 3: Critical Race Theory to develop a critical consciousness: Understanding “racism as structure”
Chapter 4: “Eye-opening…”: Bearing witness to whiteness in school
Chapter 5: “Feeling race”: Embracing culturally relevant, sustaining, and disrupting pedagogies