Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Second Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Third Advisor

Christopher Thomas

Abstract

A scrupulous search of whiteness literatures in relation to multicultural education reveals a preponderance of scholarship noting White privilege and race evasiveness. Given contrasting scholarship arguing White identity as complicated, multifarious, and bound to social and historical context, concurrent with a dearth of scholarship that examines such complexity, studies that explore and complicate White racial identity are of vital importance in advancing discourse around whiteness in education. Moreover, studies on veteran White teachers in multicultural settings explore professional identifications that have emerged along a continuum within authentic educational contexts rather than pre-service teachers in decontextualized settings.

Exploring identifications of veteran White teachers in multicultural settings involves careful attendance to experiences that shape identity. To this point life history methodology is ideal, as the social and psychological functions of stories make them an ideal match for research within education.

Respondent narrative accounts suggest individual consciousnesses that are both constructively critical and problematic. Data from this study revealed respondent non-constructive criticalities involving race and pedagogy, including problematic race talk and pedagogical traits that hinder culturally sustaining pedagogy. Respondent non-constructive criticalities involving race and pedagogy were commonly consonant with an acquiescence to an oppressively-tending educational structure, an adherence to highly scripted implementation of curricula, and a tendency to give voice to language that justified one's position within the structure, thereby escaping culpability for student academic failure. Data from this study also revealed respondent constructive criticalities involving race and pedagogy, including race-privilege cognizance, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and constructive reflection. In addition, teachers, in whom constructive criticalities seemed to manifest in appreciable degrees, underwent experiences in their early lives that seemed to facilitate a social justice-oriented awareness. Moreover, these teachers also performed their duties with considerable degrees of curricular autonomy.

In conclusion, data from this study support findings of extant scholarship arguing White teachers' race evasiveness may be attributed to more complex phenomena beyond simply protecting privilege. In addition, data from this study suggest educators continue to interrogate White teacher racial knowledge all the while maintaining a view of White teachers as capable learners.

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