Exploring Teachers’ Racialized Reasoning to Re-conceptualize Teacher Education in the Era of “Color-blind” Racism
Thomas M. Philip

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Los Angeles

Primary Discipline

Teacher Education/Teaching and Learning
Despite the relative consensus among teacher educators that it is critical for teachers to understand their positionality and the nature and purpose of their work within the larger context of a racially structured society, research and practice in this field are most often rooted in approaches that emphasize social structure or individual agency at the expense of the other. This study builds on contemporary theories of race as well as advances in the learning sciences to investigate a novel hypothesis: When teachers develop analyses of inequitable social structures as emergent from people’s actions, as opposed to such structures being externally imposed, accidental or inevitable, their fundamental premises about society and about their agency will be transformed. Such transformations will facilitate teachers’ engagement in practices that address racialized inequity in their classrooms and their larger contexts. The study will explore contemporary approaches in a social foundations course that engage teacher candidates in learning about the purpose and nature of their work in relationship to their historical, social, political and economic contexts. It will further examine how such understandings translate, or do not translate into equitable teacher practices as evidenced in teacher performance assessments. The study will further investigate differences in teachers’ understandings and evidenced practices when they participate in a social foundations course that is theoretically and pedagogically grounded in an approach that emphasizes complex systems and emergence. The findings from this study will contribute to re-envisioning teacher education in the era of “color-blind” racism.
About Thomas M. Philip

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