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Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power

White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms

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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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15. Nesting in Nepantla: The Importance of Maintaining Tensions in Our Work

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ROCHELLE GUTIÉRREZ

Every year, I run an activity with my secondary mathematics methods students in which I make them feel uncomfortable. It is called Bungee Barbie.1 They are assigned a group activity where they are given a Barbie doll, a measuring tape, a handful of rubber bands, and tape. They are asked to measure the distance the doll falls from a fixed point when dropped with one rubber band tied to her ankles. They are to continue this process with two, then three, up until ten rubber bands are used in a chainlike manner, taking note each time how far she falls. They are asked to collect this data and then, based on their “line of best fit,” make a prediction as to the number of rubber bands to use if she will be dropped off of my third-floor office balcony, fall the maximum distance, and not hit the ground below. The winning team will have bragging rights. They are told that in our next session, each group member will be responsible for explaining how their group collected their data, how they accounted for any error their data might contain, and how they made their prediction.

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