White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms
9. Challenging Patterns to Change My World: Using My Personal Evolution of Critical Race Consciousness in Mathematics Teacher Education
FRANCES K. HARPER
Exploring issues of race in the predominately White space of teacher education presents significant challenges. As a White female, I have found limited success with guiding prospective teachers in secondary mathematics methods courses to interrogate the influence of Whiteness on mathematics teaching. In my experiences, explicitly naming race in conversations with prospective teachers can lead to awkward silences and hurt feelings. I sometimes fall into the common trap that ensnares many White critical pedagogues—offering broad, critical questions to avoid naming race explicitly (Allen, 2004). Although more comfortable, this approach fails to highlight the role of racism in perpetuating inequities in mathematics education, and even when Whiteness is challenged directly, White prospective teachers often find ways to maintain and enact their dominant racial ideologies (Picower, 2009).
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