Inhabiting The ‘Tragic Gap’: Pre-service Teachers Practicing Racial Literacy

Aug. 15, 2011

Source: Teaching Education, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2011, pages 303-324.

Set in the context of a teacher education program, this study examined how three White pre-service teachers participate in book club discussions of children’s literature.

The authors addressed to the following research questions:
When White pre-service teachers are in a context that enables talk about race, racism and anti-racism, what do they talk about?
What conceptual and discursive tools do they use?

The analysis illustrates that the participants held two questions, what constitutes racism and what makes a person a White ally, without firm resolution in the form and function of their talk. Their discourses illustrate that racial literacy involves what teachers say and also a willingness to stand in the space of indeterminacy, which may create space for new social positions.

The authors argue for a continued theorization of critical discourse analysis alongside of racial literacy and multicultural discourses.

Updated: Sep. 27, 2012