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Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness

Views from the Past and Present

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Edited By Virginia Lea, Darren E. Lund and Paul R. Carr

Whiteness is a narrative. It is the privileged dimension of the complex story of "race" that was, and continues to be, seminal in shaping the socio-economic structure and cultural climate of the United States and other Western nations. Without acknowledging this story, it is impossible to understand fully the current political and social contexts in which we live. Critical Multicultural Perspectives on Whiteness explores multiple analyses of whiteness, drawing on both past and current key sources to tell the story in a more comprehensive way. This book features both iconic essays that address the social construction of whiteness and critical resistance as well as excellent new critical perspectives.

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16. No Place Like Home? Reconceptualizing Whiteness as Place│Space Within Teacher Education (Melissa Winchell)

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Chapter 16

No Place Like Home?

Reconceptualizing Whiteness as Place│Space Within Teacher Education

Melissa Winchell

Growing up in a small rural town definitely impacted the way I think in general. I went to a private [religious] school, which was mostly White, and then I transitioned into the public high school, which was basically like a private school—750 kids, 6 through 12 [grades], all in one building. Everyone got along, there were never any fights…there was always a 1:13 teacher-student ratio in school, and everyone knew everyone. My teachers knew my entire family…knew my life story… [having these teachers] was like having a bunch of parents who all loved you, and who you could go to for anything. We had a 100 [percent] graduation rate, and all of us went off to 4-year colleges. So that’s really what I came into this class with. (Jenna, Presentation in class, December 13, 2012)

In the class I taught on urban education to undergraduates at Stanton College, a private, four-year, religious college on the East Coast of the United States, students spoke often of the places of importance to them, framing a lot of their learning through descriptions of the events and practices of these geographies. As I studied the course and the data I had collected during my teaching of it, I found that “home”—and other places important to students’ histories—had become a prominent theme in...

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