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Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power

White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms


Edited By Nicole M. Joseph, Chayla Haynes and Floyd Cobb

Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power: White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms is a collection of narratives that will transform the teaching of any faculty member who teaches in the STEM system. The book links issues of inclusion to teacher excellence at all grade levels by illuminating the critical influence that racial consciousness has on the behaviors of White faculty in the classroom. It functions as an analytical tool, scaffolding exemplary examples to inspire readers to engage in the complex and difficult work of assessing their own racial consciousness and teacher effectiveness. White pre-service teachers in STEM education rarely see the importance of the link between race and the teaching and learning of mathematics, in part because the White faculty who are teaching these subjects rarely engage in the study of racial projects in STEM. From this perspective, the authors of this book contend that the classroom is a racialized environment that, if not addressed, can reproduce racial structures and hierarchies in cyclical ways.
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Our interest in the connections between racial consciousness, whiteness, power, and teaching excellence, with a particular focus on STEM, originates from our individual scholarship and commitment to transformative teaching and inclusive excellence in higher education. We each have had higher education experiences as both student and instructor that have informed our overall research agendas and teaching priorities. This collection of faculty narratives is aligned with our current and future scholarship. We thank Kara Viesca for the car conversation that turned into a meeting with the Social Justice Across Contexts in Education series editor, sj Miller, which then turned into a tangible project.

Faculty in this book are all excellent instructors working toward the goal of increasing equitable outcomes for all students. Passionate in their commitment and generous in their willingness to share, the White faculty and faculty of color embody what is best about interrogation—reflective and reflexive practices—that can lead to exposure of how racial consciousness helps identify persistent patterns of racism that are inherent in classroom teaching, particularly in higher education and in STEM. The tripartite format of our book makes it a unique and scholarly endeavor because our contributors engaged their inner selves and had the courage to illuminate both their problems and possibilities of teaching for social justice.

We credit our colleagues who gave input and shared our call with their networks. We also credit our families, who gave us the time and space to create a product that...

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