Interrogating Whiteness: Using Photo-Elicitation to Empower Teachers to Talk About Race

  • Michael L. BoucherJr.


This chapter highlights one participant from my previous research, a case study, designed to reveal how five successful White social studies teachers negotiated their teaching relationships with their African American students. The participants, from a Midwestern de facto segregated urban district, were identified as successful teachers and chosen using a nomination process. They were observed in the classroom and interviewed using photo-elicitation (Crilly et al., Qual Res, 6:341–366, 2006; Harper, Visual Stud, 17:13–26, 2002). The photos were taken by the researcher of classroom interactions between the White teacher and students of color on an iPad. The interviews were then qualitatively analyzed for emerging themes (Creswell, Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five traditions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2007; Patton, Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2002; Stake, The art of case study research: Perspectives on practice. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 1995). Using photo elicitation gave these teachers a platform to theorize and reflect on the relationships with their students of color and their own ideas about race: (1) Teachers discussed the dynamics of their relationships with students and their ability or inability to connect with individual students. (2) Teachers saw their interactions with students through a new lens and theorized about the nature of urban teaching and their own ideas about race. (3) Teachers revealed the complicated push and pull between empowerment and deficit modeling of their students’ lives.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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