10 SES 09 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
This research was part of a doctoral thesis and arises from experience and observations of teachers' and teacher educators' approaches to race equality, specifically their colour blind approach to teaching. The research illustrates how inquiring within one’s own profession can lead to changing and adapting curricula to educate for freedom and the development of a more just world.
In England, teaching continues to be a profession where teachers and student teachers are predominantly White and so are most teacher educators whilst there is an increasingly ethnically diverse pupil population. This mismatch of teacher and pupil ethnicity, in combination with the diminution of a theoretical underpinning within teacher education in England, particularly related to race equality, has served to submerge issues related to preparing teachers to teach within an ethnically diverse society. In England, the Professional Standards forQualified Teacher Status (TDA 2008) contain one indirect reference to ethnicity and none to racism. The lack of minority ethnic role models within teaching and the perpetuation of a dominant discourse merely underscores teaching as a profession which is neither relevant to minority ethnic pupils’ aspirations and nor is it responsive to changing the curriculum to reflect England’s greater ethnic diversity. It could be argued that the lack of references to, and the lack of engagement with, the concepts of race and ethnicity within initial teacher education perpetuate the dominant and misrecognised discourse of whiteness.
Whiteness is a concept emerging from the field of critical whiteness studies within the USA. Whiteness, a social, political and cultural construct emerging from the racialised discourse which has served to privilege those with a white identity and it underpins structural racism (Garner 2007). It is evident in behaviours and responses which involve denial and deflection and in a colour blind perspective with respect to race and ethnicity. Rosenberg (2004, p257) asserts that a ‘blindness to skin colour and race remains a ‘privilege’ available exclusively to White people’. Bonilla-Silva (2003) notes how colour blindness merely serves to maintain the status quo with respect to racism and is a mechanism of structural racism. If such colour blindness operates within the institutions of initial teacher preparation then student teachers will never be able to understand and overcome the structural racism which operates within educational institutions and can limit the educational chances of some pupils.
This research set out to explore the following research questions:
1. How is colour blindness apparent in the narratives of White teacher educators?
2. How is it evident in practice?
3. How is institutional racism revealed within the colour blind narratives of White teacher educators?
Bonilla-Silva, E. (2003) ‘New Racism’, color blind racism and the future of whiteness in America in A.W. Doane and E. Bonilla-Silva (Eds) White out: continuing significance of race (pp271-284). New York: Routledge. Garner, S. (2007) Whiteness Abingdon: Routledge. Rosenberg, P. (2004) ‘Color Blindness in Teacher Education: An Optical Delusion’ in Michelle Fine, Lois Weis, Linda Powel Pruitt and April Burns Off White Readings on Power, Privilege and Resistance Second Edition (pp257-272) New York: Routledge. Training and Development Agency (TDA) (2008) Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status London: TDA
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.