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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather Smith
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Educational inequities persist in England today. Initial teacher educators are therefore charged with facilitating student teachers' understanding of the issues pertaining to such inequities so they may work to disrupt them. Two lecturers at opposite ends of England, both with overwhelmingly White student cohorts, have approached this undertaking through the teaching of critical whiteness studies. This article exposes and explains the very different reactions of White student teachers to this approach given that one of the lecturers is Black and the other White. Explanations are viewed through a sociological framework which seeks to deconstruct normalized practices; in tandem with understandings of how whiteness operates to reinforce such normalization in order that inequitable power relations are reified. This revealed that student reactions were underpinned by racialised assumptions of teacher ability and motives, leading to collusion in whiteness for the White teacher and, for the Black teacher, a collision between her teaching and student perceptions of her role and values.
Author(s): Smith HJ, Lander V
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Race, Ethnicity and Education
Print publication date: 26/04/2012
ISSN (print): 1361-3324
ISSN (electronic): 1470-109X
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