White Practicing Teachers and the Struggle for Antiracist Work in Schools
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An in-depth account and model of antiracist professional development for white practicing teachers.
Antiracist professional development for white teachers often follows a one-size-fits-all model, focusing on narrow notions of race and especially white privilege at the expense of more radical analyses of white supremacy. Frustrated with this model, Zachary A. Casey and Shannon K. McManimon, both white teacher educators, developed a two-year professional development seminar called "RaceWork" with eight white practicing teachers committed to advancing antiracism in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Drawing on interviews, field notes, teacher reflections, and classroom observations, Building Pedagogues details the program's theoretical and pedagogical foundations; Casey and McManimon's unique tripartite approach to race and racism at personal, local, and structural levels; learnings, strategies, and practical interventions that emerged from the program; and the challenges and resistance these teachers faced. As the story of RaceWork and a model for implementing it, the book concludes by reminding its audience of teachers, teacher educators, and researchers that antiracist professional development is a continual, open-ended process. The work of building pedagogues is an ongoing process.
Zachary A. Casey is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Educational Studies at Rhodes College. He is the author A Pedagogy of Anticapitalist Antiracism: Whiteness, Neoliberalism, and Resistance in Education, also published by SUNY Press. Shannon K. McManimon is Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Leadership at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is the coeditor (with Zachary A. Casey and Christina Berchini) of Whiteness at the Table: Antiracism, Racism, and Identity in Education.
"In this moment, we need models for antiracist professional learning that honour teaching as relational, intellectual, and political work. In Building Pedagogues, Casey and McManimon offer such a model … Those who support the learning and development of teachers will come away from this text with rich insights into teachers' sensemaking processes and important design considerations for antiracist learning. " — Educational Reform
"…an intimate look at white teachers' engagement in RaceWork … The text speaks eloquently to various audiences. White schoolteachers will find challenging self-reflective mirrors while drawing courage from the 8 teachers' experiences shared within. Likewise, faculty and professional developers working with white teachers or teacher candidates, will find helpful guidance and fellowship. Additionally, it is an exemplar of researcher–participant action research, which can be used for methodological studies in higher education. " — Teachers College Record
"Finally, a framework for what countless teachers are asking for, illustrated with concrete examples of what building pedagogies looks like in practice, with all of the questions, contradictions, emotional struggles, shortcomings, and learnings surfaced and honored. Casey and McManimon offer a deep dive into a professional community for white teachers to learn about whiteness and to act against white supremacy in this brilliantly written book that is deeply theorized, richly detailed, conversational, and engaging, with a self-critical honesty that cannot help but to draw in the reader. This book will change our profession, and cannot come at a more demanding time. " — Kevin Kumashiro, author of Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning toward Justice