Doctor of Education
Leadership & Policy Studies
Stephen A Zanskas
Alison A Happel-Parkins
While the public-school classroom has increasingly become more diverse, the teaching population has not. Research studies on race and its role in the classroom have been necessary considering the predominantly white teaching force and the opportunity gap that exists in the education outcomes of students of color and that of their white peers; furthermore, a gap in rural and urban studies on white teachers working with students of color provided the additional impetus for the study. This study seeks to add to the emerging field of second-wave white teacher identity studies. The purpose of this case study was to discover the ways in which white rural teachers were engaging in anti-racist teaching and challenging systemic racism by understanding their perceived biases and beliefs about race. By using a Critical Race Theory lens but situating the study as a second wave white teacher study, this study is significant by providing an asset-based examination of how white rural teachers have worked to understand their whiteness and are engaging in culturally responsive pedagogy with antiracist teaching practices as a means of challenging institutionalized racism in rural schools and communities. Using an interview protocol, field notes, and researcher journal, the following themes became evident in this study: (1) the lack of pre-service preparation or in-service professional development in understanding the structures of whiteness or racism in education, (2) the lack of space and leadership for white teachers to unpack feelings and reflect upon race, (3) the use of antiracist teaching practices, (4) the awareness that rural, majority white, schools need antiracist education for teachers and students. Keywords: whiteness, critical race theory, second wave white teacher identity studies, critical whiteness studies, culturally responsive teaching, social justice, antiracist teaching, pedagogy
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.
Little, Jean Ann, "The White Elephant in the Classroom: A Case Study on Understanding Whiteness to Become an Antiracist Teacher in the Rural Classroom" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3219.