Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power: White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms
Nicole M. Russell, PhD
Chayla M. Haynes, PhD
Floyd Cobb, PhD
The book seeks to link issues of inclusion to teacher excellence (P-20) by illuminating the critical influence that racial consciousness has on the behaviors of White faculty in the classroom (Haynes, 2013). We use the term faculty here as an umbrella term that incorporates and describes both those who teach in secondary and postsecondary education. This is an issue of significant importance across the P-20 pipeline, given the growing racial diversity among students and the saturation of White faculty (over 80% at both the college and K-12 levels) (Feistritzer, 2011) in the U.S. education system. Unlike their counterparts, White faculty report feeling less prepared to address issues of race that emerge in their classrooms, and are even less likely to interrogate how whiteness influences their classroom teaching (Bell, Washington, Weinstein, & Love, 1997; Galman, Pica-Smith, & Rosenberger, 2010; Gordon, 2005; Leonardo, 2009; Skrla, Scheurich, Garcia, & Nolly, 2004: Yoon, 2010).
This text serves as a much needed disruptive intervention to expose faculty, in particular those who are White, to how racial consciousness aids in the identification of the persistent patterns of racism inherent in classroom teaching (Haynes, 2013). This text also functions as an analytical tool by scaffolding exemplary examples to inspire readers in how to engage in complex and difficult work of assessing their own racial consciousness and teacher effectiveness.
Seeking White STEM Equity Scholars to Submit a Manuscript for Section II:
We invite scholars who support national goals related to increasing racial minorities’ participation in STEM, diversifying the STEM labor force, and enhancing the sociopolitical and economic capital of this population. While we recognize that developing a racial consciousness is critical to all strands of education, we encourage faculty who teach in STEM departments (i.e. mathematics, science, and engineering) as well as faculty who teach in STEM education (training pre-service teachers seeking licensure in secondary mathematics and science).
This book will have three sections and each chapter will follow a similar format by opening with a powerful vignette which illustrates the “ah ha” moment about social inequity that has subsequently and most significantly influenced their scholarship and teaching. To that aim, Section I of the book draws upon wisdom of seasoned White scholars from interdisciplinary contexts who will discuss issues of equity as they draw from personal evidence about how they have addressed social injustice throughout their academic careers, particularly in their classrooms. Section II, calls upon up and coming White faculty who specifically teach in the STEM system and who want to advance scholarship and teaching regarding STEM equity. Lastly, Section III invites STEM equity scholars of color to respond to and talk back (hooks, 1989) to themes, constructs, and ideas that emerge from the narratives of the White scholars in Section II.
Specific Call for Section II
Scholars interested in submitting a manuscript for Section II should craft a 500 word abstract (maximum) of forthcoming scholarly work. Manuscripts should be 12-point type, Times New Roman, and with standard margins (1″ on all sides). Abstracts should be prepared according to the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition and include a well composed title that clearly informs the reader about the content.
Guiding Chapter Questions
The questions below should be used to guide the organization of the final chapter draft. Authors are not relegated to a traditional chapter format and we encourage authors to use creative dialogue, narrative, or any other style that is appropriate to the tone of the chapter.
● How do you identify racially; how did you come to understand what being White meant?
● How has being White shaped your life experiences (e.g., personal relationships, life choices, educational experiences/pathways, belief system, values, self-standards/expectations, etc.)?
● How, if at all, are issues of race and racism (including but not limited to power and privilege) explored in your classroom?
● In what ways might your race influence how your students’ perceive you?
● In what ways does your students’ races influence your classroom teaching?
● To what extent is the institution of higher education and by extension its faculty, responsible for the advancement of social change?
Please submit queries about abstract preparation or abstracts to Dr. Nicole M. Russell by March 30th via email: email@example.com. Please use “Interrogating Whiteness Abstract” for a subject in your email. Notice to authors regarding the status of their submission will be sent by April 30, 2014.
Bell, L.A., Washington, S.,Weinstein, G., & Love, B. (1997). Knowing ourselves as instructors. In M. Adams, L.A. Bell,
& P.Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice (pp. 299-310). New York: Routledge.
Feistritzer, C. E (2011). Profiles of teachers in the U.S., 2011. Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Galman, S., Pica-Smith, C., & Rosenberger, C. (2010). Aggressive and tender navigations: Teacher educators confront
whiteness in their practice. Journal of Teacher Education, 6(3), 225-236.
Gordan, S. P. (2005). Making meaning of whiteness: A pedagogical approach for multicultural education. Journal of
Physical Therapy Education, 19(1), 21-27.
Haynes, C. (2013). Restrictive and expansive views of equality: A grounded theory study that
explores the influence of racial consciousness on the behaviors of White faculty in the classroom. (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertation Database.
Leonardo, Z. (2009). Race, whiteness, and education. New York: Routledge.
Skrla, L., Scheurich, J. J., Garcia, J., & Nolly, G. (2004). Equity audits: A practical leadership tool for developing
equitable and excellent schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 133-161.
Yoon, I. H. (2012). The paradoxical nature of whiteness-at-work in the daily life of schools and
teacher communities. Race Ethnicity and Education, 15(5), 587-613.