Telling and Retelling about Self and “Others”: How Pre-service Teachers (Re)interpret Privilege and Disadvantage in one College Classroom

Jul. 14, 2007

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 23, Issue 6, August 2007, Pages 840-856

This paper examines how a group of mostly white, (upper) middle class pre-service teachers expressed resistance in one multicultural education course. We analyze how these students re-evaluated their educational autobiographies upon comparing their educational “story” with that of an “other” of a different race and social class whom they had interviewed.

Findings reveal that despite variation in students’ incoming ideological dispositions, they all rationalized inequality by clinging to moral evaluations of their own achievements and that of others like and unlike them. Teacher-educators have wrangled insufficiently with the moral logic that rationalizes unearned privilege, accounting, in part, for the kinds of resistance these students demonstrated.

Updated: Jul. 13, 2008