Public schools have increasing numbers of its teachers fitting into one demographic, white and female, while the numbers of African American teachers decrease (Ladson-Billings, Crossing over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. San Francisco: Josey-Bass ). Furthermore, African American collegiates who decide to enter teaching may face a chilly climate as a result of their cultural and educational experiences as they encounter devaluation in the classroom (Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Class room. New York: The New Press ). As a result, African American pre-service teachers may question the validity of the formal curriculum presented in college as it conflicts with their perceptions of school, thereby, leaving teacher-educators largely responsible for the quality of life and subsequent devotion to profession of these students. Critical autoethnography, using fieldnotes/research journaling, and student memoirs all through a theoretical backdrop of critical race feminism provide a glimpse into the teaching and learning experiences and dilemmas of one African American female teacher educator utilizing what I call personally engaged pedagogy as a means of enhancing the quality of the learning experiences of her African American pre-service teachers.
African American pre-service teachers memoir pedagogy teacher education