White awareness is an important topic for educators working in pluralistic societies, such as the U.S. and U.K., were most classrooms include diverse groups of learners.
The field of culturally relevant teacher education argues that it is imperative that White teachers develop awareness, or critical consciousness, around issues of race, privilege, power, and oppression in order to be successful with students from diverse settings (Ayers et al. 1998; Cochran-Smith 2004; Jordan-Irvine 2003; Sleeter and McLaren 1995). Here are a few resources to get started:
Articles and Books
- Castagno, Angelina (2008). “I don’t want to hear that: Legitimizing whiteness through silence in schools”. This article stems from original research and explains the dynamics of White privilege and silencing race talk.
- Hooks, Bell (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. This books shows teachers how to teach to transcend the boundaries of race, class, and gender.
- Picower, B. (2009) The unexamined Whiteness of teaching: How white teachers maintain and enact dominant racial ideologies. Race Ethnicity and Education 12 (2): 197-215.
- Pollock, Mica (2008). Everyday Antiracism. This book includes essays from 70 scholars aimed at raising awareness of white privilege.
- Pollock, Mica (2007). Schooltalk. This book shows us how our words matter in how we replicate and reproduce white privilege, knowingly or not. Likewise, language is a powerful tool for raising awareness of inequality and changing how we respond.
- Rollock, N. and Gillborn, D. (2011) Critical Race Theory (CRT), British Educational Research Association online resource. Available online at http://www.bera.ac.uk/files/2011/10/Critical-Race-Theory.pdf . Last accessed May 18, 2020.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice political education tool kits.
- Zinn Education Project teaching materials on racism and racial identity.
Ayers, W., J.A. Hunt, and T. Quinn. 1998. Teaching for social justice: A democracy and education reader. New York: W.W. Norton.
Cochran-Smith, M. 2004. Walking the road: Race, diversity, and social justice in teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press.
Jordan-Irvine, J.J. 2003. Educating teachers for diversity: Seeing with a cultural eye. New York: Teachers College Press.
Sleeter, C.E., and P. McLaren. 1995. Multicultural education, critical pedagogy, and the politics of difference. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.