The teaching context preference of four white South African pre-service teachers: Considerations for teacher education
In an attempt to bring about a society in which individuals can realise their full potential, South African (SA) education has undergone fundamental reforms. However, despite these changes, the education system seems to remain hampered by ongoing systematic and institutional racism, and subsequent socio-economic structures of poverty and privilege. Given the national requirement for all teachers to be socially just educators, pre-service teachers need to be guided to first recognise and understand their own worldviews, before they will be able to understand the worldviews of learners in diverse teaching and learning contexts. Framed within Critical Race Theory, this article draws on the interplay between race and whiteness as property to explore four white pre-service teachers’ preference for working with black learners. Data generated through an iterative process of qualitative interviewing revealed how the participants’ preference is strongly embedded in power and privilege. Based on the assumption that unexamined whiteness will contribute to the continuation of white privilege and teaching premised on a deficit model, storytelling is proposed as a conceptual tool by means of which to decentre whiteness.
Keywords: critical race theory; storytelling; teacher education; white pre-service teachers
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