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Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom

Critical Educultural Teaching Approaches for Social Justice Activism


Virginia Lea and Erma Jean Sims

At the start of the twenty-first century, government mandates and corporate practices are resulting in growing inequities in the U.S. educational field. Many view this as being driven by whiteness hegemony. Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom is a comprehensive effort to bring together, in one volume, educultural practices and teaching strategies that deconstruct whiteness hegemony, empower individuals to develop critical consciousness, and inspire them to engage in social justice activism. Through music, the visual and performing arts, narrative, and dialogue, educulturalism opens us up to becoming more aware of the oppressive cultural and institutional forces that make up whiteness hegemony. Educulturalism allows us to identify how whiteness hegemony functions to obscure the power, privilege, and practices of the dominant social elite, and reproduce inequities and inequalities within education and wider society.
Contents: Virginia Lea/Erma Jean Sims: Introduction: Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom: Different Origins, Shared Commitment – Catherine Kroll: Imagining Ourselves into Transcultural Spaces: Decentering Whiteness in the Classroom – Ann Berlak: Challenging the Hegemony of Whiteness by Addressing the Adaptive Unconscious – Erma Jean Sims/Virginia Lea: Transforming Whiteness Through Poetry: Engaging the Emotions and Invoking the Spirit – Rosa Furumoto: Future Teachers and Families Explore Humanization Through Chicana/o/Latina/o Children’s Literature – Babatunde Lea/Virginia Lea: Polyrhythms as a Metaphor for Culture – Roberta Ahlquist/Marie Milner: The Lessons We Learn from Crash: Using Hollywood Film in the Classroom – Karen McGarry: Destabilizing Whiteness and Challenging the Myth of Canadian Multiculturalism: The Couple in the Cage and Educulturalism – Denise Hughes-Tafen: Black Women’s Theater from the Global South and the Interplay of Whiteness and Americanness in an Appalachian Classroom – Eileen C. Cherry-Chandler: Educultural Performance: Embodiment, Self-Reflection, and Ethical Engagement – Judy Helfand: Inviting an Exploration of Visual Art into a Class on American Cultures – Virginia Lea/Erma Jean Sims: Imaging Whiteness Hegemony in the Classroom: Undoing Oppressive Practice and Inspiring Social Justice Activism – Cathy Bao Bean: Figuring the Cultural Shape We’re In – Pauline Bullen: Black Woman «Educultural» Feminist – Carlos Aceves: One is the Sun: Mesoamerican Pedagogy as an Adjunct to Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom – Virginia Lea/Erma Jean Sims: Afterword: Educulturalism in the Service of Social Justice Activism.