A Multiple Case Study of Deconstructing White Teaching Candidates' Identities to Interrupt White Complicity in Education




Leihsing, Samantha Nichole

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The purpose of this multiple case study examined how white teacher candidates negotiated their identities in the context of their final semester of coursework within their teacher preparation program. Specifically, this study examined Hardiman's white identity development model (1982) as it related to the racialized attitudes and behaviors of teacher candidates to determine their potential complicity in enacting normative white supremacy ideologies in their future classrooms and avoiding critical multicultural transformation. The findings from this study demonstrate that greater attention needs to be paid in higher education in implementing anti racist and social justice initiatives within their coursework to give students greater opportunities for self-reflection on their own understandings of racism, oppression and how they remain complicit in the normativity of whiteness. These results suggest that for university graduates to truly embody antiracist educators, major systematic changes must be made at multiple levels; national, state, institutional, K-12 education, higher education and individual consciousness, for every educator to commit to developing an antiracist identity and praxis in the classroom.


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critical whiteness studies, teacher education



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching