Working Through Whiteness

Working Through Whiteness : Examining White Racial Identity and Profession with Pre-Service Teachers

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White educators comprise between 85-92 percent of the current teaching force in the United States, yet in the race toward leaving no child behind, contemporary educational research often invests significant time and energy looking for ways to reach students who represent difference without examining the nature of those who do the work of educating the nation's public school children. Educational research that has looked at racial identity is often void of earnest discussion of the identity of the teachers, how that identity impacts teacher beliefs about students and families, and ultimately how teachers frame their understanding of the profession. This book takes readers on a journey to explore the nature of pre-service teachers' narratives as a means of better understanding racial identity and the way teachers enter the profession. Through a case study analysis approach, Examining White Racial Identity and Profession with Pre-service Teachers examines the nature of white racial identity as seen through the narratives of nine pre-service teachers as well as his own struggles with racial identity. This text draws on racial identity, critical race theory, and discourse and narrative analysis to reveal how participants in the study used discourse structures to present beliefs about race and their own understandings and ultimately how the teachers' narratives display underdeveloped understandings of their choices to become educators. Fasching-Varner also critically examines his own racial identity auto-ethnographically, and ultimately proposes a new, non-developmental model for thinking about white racial identity. This text aims to help teacher educators and teachers to work against the privileges of whiteness so as to better engage students in culturally relevant more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 170 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • 0739176870
  • 9780739176870

Review quote

Working through Whiteness: Examining White Racial Identity and Profession with Pre-Service Teachers by Kenneth Fasching-Varner is an honest, unflinching study of the racial narratives of white pre-service teachers. Dr. Fasching-Varner builds on critical race scholarship, laying bare and employing concepts such as counter-storytelling, whiteness as property, expansive and restricted anti-discrimination, white identity development, and more, to reveal the ways that color-blindness and dysconscious racism (naivety about racism's predominance in our world) thwarts teachers' abilities to become culturally relevant and to break the system of beliefs and teaching practices that perpetuate the educational debt, the so-called racial achievement gap. Using theories of white racial identity and the auto-ethnography of his own life trajectory as a white male, Fasching-Varner examines the processes and workings of white identity of his study's participants and finds that an expanded model is needed to account for the nature of white individuals and whites as a connected group in the system of privileged whiteness. In his recommendations for teacher education programs, teacher educators and pre-service teachers, we find that change is possible, through contextualized, intentional, selective approaches that complement the reality of our particular classroom settings, where teachers teach in a meaningful and culturally relevant manner. Read this book, be inspired and informed.--Elaine Richardson, Ohio State Universityshow more

About Kenneth James Fasching-Varner

Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner is the Shirley B. Barton and assistant professor in Elementary Education at Louisiana State University in the College of Human Sciences and Education's School of Education. His areas of expertise include sociocultural foundations, pre-service teacher development, reflexive practice, literacy, second-language acquisition and development, critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and multicultural more