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‘Hacking at our very roots’: Rearticulating White racial identity within the context of teacher education

Aveling, N. (2006) ‘Hacking at our very roots’: Rearticulating White racial identity within the context of teacher education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 9 (3). pp. 261-274.

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When teaching about race and racism and how we as ‘Whites’ are implicated in the discursive practices that sustain racism, we are indeed ‘hacking at the very roots’ of the ways in which students have conceptualized their identity in terms of being non‐racialized and at the same time non‐racist. In this paper I focus on the challenges and possibilities of working with teacher education students—most of whom are White—to critically deconstruct Whiteness as part of the larger project of anti‐racism. While I draw on students’ comments, in quite fundamental ways this paper is about my own—rather than students’—learning experiences. After a decade of re‐evaluating my pedagogy, the anecdotal evidence as well as results from more formal evaluations would suggest that my strategies have become increasingly effective in assisting students to work through their resistances. It is the paper’s conclusion that ‘teaching against the grain’ is likely to continue to be unpopular with some students but that education that purports to have an anti‐racism focus must incorporate an experiential component despite the discomfort this may cause.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of Taylor & Francis
Copyright: 2006 Taylor & Francis
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