Race encounters in ITE : tutors' narratives on race equality and initial teacher education (ITE)

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Lander, Arvinder Kaur (2010)
  • Publisher: Institute of Education, University of London

This study examines the racialised narratives of White tutors in initial teacher education (ITE) with specific reference to how well initial teacher education (ITE) prepares student teachers to teach in an ethnically diverse society. It draws on critical race theory as a framework to identify how the discourse of whiteness is embedded in the experience, knowledge and hegemonic understandings of these tutors and how it affects their approach to the topic of race equality and teaching in a multicultural society. The research was conducted in a predominantly White institution where the majority of student teachers and tutors reflect the national teacher demo graphics within the context of an increasingly diverse pupil population and the continued underachievement of pupils from certain minority ethnic groups. The study involved interviews with White ITE tutors within one institution. The resulting narratives were juxtaposed with the narrative of a minority ethnic tutor to examine the embedded and embodied effects of the dominant discourse of whiteness. The tutors' narratives reveal how whiteness is embodied and performed within the context of ITE to maintain whiteness whilst simultaneously engaging with the rhetoric of race equality and compliance with statutory duties and requirements. The study shows how the tools of whiteness (Picower 2009) are used to maintain and promote the misrecognised discourse of whiteness resulting in the symbolic violence evident in the persistence of endemic racism within the academy. The disruption of such a discourse has implications for ITE policy, practice and recruitment. There are particular implications for the school-based aspects of initial teacher education programmes and the continued professional development of ITE tutors and mentors.
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