Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

“I Didn’t Wanna Believe It was a Race Issue”: Student Teaching Experiences of Preservice Teachers of Color

Abstract

Teacher education scholars are increasingly calling for critical theories to unearth how diverse histories are silenced in teacher education. Employing critical theories to study student teaching experiences is of particular importance because placements are considered a vital component of new teacher preparation. In this study, we utilize Critical Race Theory to examine the student teaching experiences of preservice teachers of color in a graduate-level teacher education program committed to diversifying the teacher force. Through interview testimonios, participants revealed racialized experiences and described how they responded to and resisted racism within their student teaching placements. Racial, nativist and religious microaggressions left them feeling invisible, hypervisible, disrespected, and stereotyped by the very teachers responsible for mentoring and guiding them into the teaching profession. We share testimonio narratives that illustrate the themes across participants and highlight how they worked to understand student teaching experiences that were in contradiction with their authentic selves. Collectively, their testimonios highlight the need for teacher education program procedures and guidance for student teachers witnessing and experiencing racism in their K-12 placements.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Amos, Y. T. (2016). Voices of teacher candidates of color on white race evasion: ‘I worried about my safety!’. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,29(8), 1002–1015. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2016.1174900.

  2. Anderson, D. (2007). The role of cooperating teachers’ power in student teaching. Education,128(2), 307–323.

  3. Anderson, L. M., & Stillman, J. A. (2013). Student teaching’s contribution to preservice teacher development: A review of research focused on the preparation of teachers for urban and high-needs contexts. Review of Educational Research,83(1), 3–69. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543124468619.

  4. Annamma, S. A., Jackson, D. D., & Morrisson, D. (2017). Conceptualizing color-evasiveness: Using dis/ability critical race theory to expand a color-blind racial ideology in education and society. Race Ethnicity and Education,20(2), 147–162. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2016.1248837.

  5. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2018). Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  6. Brown, K. D. (2014). Teaching in color: A critical race theory in education analysis of the literature on preservice teachesr of color and teacher education in the US. Race Ethnicity and Education,17(3), 326–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2013.832921.

  7. Bullough, R. V., & Draper, R. J. (2004). Making sense of a failed triad: Mentors, university supervisors, and positioning theory. Journal of teacher education,55(5), 407–420. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487104269804.

  8. Clarke, A., Triggs, V., & Nielson, W. S. (2014). Cooperating teacher participation in teacher edcuation: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research,84(2), 163–202.

  9. Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum,1989(1), 139–167.

  10. Cross, B. E. (2005). New racism, reformed teacher education, and the same ole’ oppression. Educational Studies,38, 263–274.

  11. Davis, J. S., & Fantozzi, V. (2016). What do student teachers want in mentor teachers? Desired, expected, possible, and emerging roles. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning,24(3), 250–266. https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2016.1222814.

  12. Delgado Bernal, D. (1998). Using a Chicana feminist epistemology in educational research. Harvard Educational Review,68(4), 555–582.

  13. Delgado Bernal, D., Burciaga, R., & Flores Carmona, J. (2012). Chicana/latina testimonios: Mapping the methodological, pedagogical, and political. Equity and Excellence in Education,45(3), 363–372. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2012.698149.

  14. Gomez, M. L., Rodriguez, T. L., & Agosto, V. (2008). Life histories of Latino/a teacher candidates. Teachers College Record,110(8), 1639–1676.

  15. Greenberg, J., Pomerance, L., & Walsh, K. (2011). Student teaching in the United States. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.nctq.org/publications/Student-Teaching-in-the-United-States.

  16. Guyton, E., Saxton, R., & Wesche, M. (1996). Experiences of diverse students in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education,12(6), 643–652. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(96)00008-X.

  17. Haddix, M. M. (2010). No longer on the margins: Researching the hybrid literate identities of black and Latina preservice teachers. Research in the Teaching of English,45(2), 97–123.

  18. Haddix, M. M. (2017). Diversifying teaching and teacher education: Beyond rhetoric and toward real change. Journal of Literacy Research,49(1), 141–149. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086296X16683422.

  19. Harris, J. C., & Patton, L. D. (2019). Un/doing intersectionality through higher education research. The Journal of Higher Education,90(3), 347–373. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2018.1536936.

  20. Kim-Cragg, H. (2019). The emperor has no clothes!: Exposing whiteness as explicit, implicit, and null curricula. Religious Education,114(3), 239–251. https://doi.org/10.1080/00344087.2019.1602464.

  21. Kohli, R. (2018a). Behind school doors: The impact of hostile racial climates on urban teachers of color. Urban Education,53(3), 307–333. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085916636653.

  22. Kohli, R. (2018b). Lessons for teacher education: The role of critical professional development in teacher of color retention. Journal of Teacher Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487118767645.

  23. Kohli, R., Pizarro, M., & Nevárez, A. (2017). The “New Racism” of K-12 schools: Centering critical research on racism. Review of Research in Education,41, 182–202. https://doi.org/10.3102/0091732X16686949.

  24. Kohli, R., & Solórzano, D. (2012). Teachers, please learn our names!: racial microagressions and the K-12 classroom. Race, Ethnicity and Education,15(4), 441–462. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2012.674026.

  25. Ladson-Billings, G., & Tate, W. F. (1995). Toward a critical race theory of education. Teachers College Record,97(1), 47–68.

  26. Leonardo, Z., & Broderick, A. (2011). Smartness as property: A critical exploration of intersections between whiteness and disability studies. Teachers College Record,113(10), 2206–2232.

  27. Matias, C. E., Viesca, K. M., Garrison-Wade, D. F., Tandon, M., & Galindo, R. (2014). “What is critical whiteness doing in OUR nice field like critical race theory?” Applying CRT and CWS to understand the white imaginations of white teacher candidates. Equity and Excellence in Education,47(3), 289–304. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2014.933692.

  28. Nguyen, H. T. (2008). Conceptions of teaching by five vietnamese american preservice teachers. Journal of Language Identity, and Education,7(2), 113–136. https://doi.org/10.1080/15348450801970654.

  29. Pérez Huber, L. (2008). Building critical race methodologies in educational research: A research note on critical race testimonio. FIU L. Rev.,4, 159.

  30. Pérez Huber, L. (2009). Disrupting apartheid of knowledge: testimonio as methodology in Latina/o critical race research in education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,22(6), 639–654.

  31. Pérez Huber, L. (2011). Discourses of racist nativism in California public education: English Dominance as racist nativist microaggressions. Educational Studies,47, 379–401. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131946.2011.589301.

  32. Pérez Huber, L., & Cueva, B. M. (2012). Chicana/Latina Testimonios on effects and responses to microaggresions. Equity and Excellence in Education,45(3), 392–410. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2012.698193.

  33. Pollock, M. (2004). Colormute: Race talk dilemmas in an American school. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  34. Sheets, R. H., & Chew, L. (2002). Absent from the research, present in our classrooms: Prepareing culturally responsive Chinese American teachers. Journal of teacher education,53(2), 127–141.

  35. Sleeter, C. E. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of teacher education,52(2), 94–106.

  36. Sleeter, C. E. (2017). Critical race theory and the whiteness of teacher education. Urban Education,52(2), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085916668957.

  37. Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2001). Critical race and LatCrit theory and method: Counter-storytelling. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,14(4), 471–495. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518390110063365.

  38. Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical race methodology: Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for education research. Qualitative Inquiry,8(1), 23–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/107780040200800103.

  39. Taylor, E. (2016). The foundations of critical race theory in education: An introduction. In E. Taylor, D. Gillborn, & G. Ladson-Billings (Eds.), Foundations of critical race theory in education (2nd ed., pp. 1–11). New York: Routledge.

  40. Valenzuela, A. (2017). Grow you own educator programs: A review of the literature with an emphasis on equity-based approach. Retrieved July 24, 2018, from http://www.idraeacsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Grow-Your-Own-Educator-Programs-Lit-Review-IDRA-EAC-South-2017.pdf.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rodriguez-Mojica, C., Rodela, K.C. & Ott, C. “I Didn’t Wanna Believe It was a Race Issue”: Student Teaching Experiences of Preservice Teachers of Color. Urban Rev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-019-00546-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Preservice teacher education
  • Field experience
  • Critical theory
  • Preservice teachers of color