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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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6. Seeing the World With a New Set of Eyes: (Re)Examining Our Identities as White Mathematics Education Researchers of Equity and Social Justice



“You meet a new person, you go with him and suddenly you get a whole new city … you go down new streets, you see houses you never saw before, pass places you didn’t even know were there. Everything changes.”

—Samuel R. Delany, 1975, Dhalgren (p. 318–319)

For the past few decades, a major focus of mathematics education research has been to develop frameworks and strategies that prepare new teachers for the richness and diversity1 that are common in today’s classrooms (Hollins & Guzman, 2005). As mathematics teacher educators (MTEs), we (the authors) seek to contribute to these discussions through research, practice, and action. Our ultimate goals related to research and practice are to help new teachers be responsive to the learning needs of all of their students so that more students can be successful in mathematics (Darling-Hammond, 2000). As such, we seek to build from the various existing frameworks that have moved teacher education programs toward this goal, for example, culturally responsive mathematics teaching (Bonner & Adams, 2012; Gay, 2002; Leonard, Napp, & Adeleke, 2009), culturally relevant teaching (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Leonard et al., 2009; Tate, 1995), and funds of knowledge (Aguirre et al., 2013; González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005; Moll, 1992). We draw from and extend these frames in our own work, each of ← 91 | 92 → which provides a unique, critical lens on equity2 and social justice3 in the mathematics classroom.


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