White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms
Edited By Nicole M. Joseph, Chayla Haynes and Floyd Cobb
8. Teacher Educators and Pre-Service Teachers Working Through the Complexities of Whiteness and Race in Mathematics and Science
CRAIG WILLEY AND PAULA MAGEE
With only a few weeks remaining of a two-year urban teacher education program that prided itself on explicitly naming, examining, and confronting racism and inequities, we asked our pre-service teachers (PSTs), during a student teaching seminar, to share their thoughts on the discussion prompts below. As White faculty teaching in a predominantly White teacher education program, we were fairly confident that we had developed racial awareness in our PSTs over the course of the program. What we found was a reality check.
Discuss how issues of racism and Whiteness have been integrated into the program.1
1. Do you think issues of race and Whiteness have been represented in the program (both coursework and field experience)? Be specific.
2. How do you see issues of race and Whiteness in the micro-interaction of your classroom?
One PST responded with the following:
I definitely think that you need to respect different races, but that doesn’t mean that you … that that’s constantly on your mind. I feel like if you are constantly thinking like, “Cameron, you’re Black, so you’re different,” then that is what is going to cause an issue—not fix it.
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