A new book co-edited by Michigan State University’s Chezare Warren examines the unique challenges threatening the teaching effectiveness of white women teaching in the U.S., and what could (and should) change in teaching practices.
“White Women’s: Work: Examining the Intersectionality of Teaching, Identity and Race,” illuminates some of the unique difficulties that are specific to white women educators who are teaching an ever-growing number of students of color. Labor trends indicate “students of color are likely to sit in front of many more white women teachers than males or non-white teachers.”
This makes the book a critical read in the current climate, says Warren, assistant professor of teacher education.
“It is like holding a mirror up and asking yourself: Where do I fit in this conversation?” said Warren, who has closely studied the subject. His dissertation, which won the 2014 outstanding dissertation award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, examined white women teachers’ interactions with high school-aged young black men. “The book is a flashlight, illuminating the blind spot for teachers to see how good intentions can actually undermine their students and reproduce racial inequity.”
While the book focuses on white women, Warren—who co-authored two chapters and the introduction—says it is useful for all educators, including those in teacher preparation programs, to critically examine their experiences with teaching a diverse body of students. Everyone can consider ways to revise and professionally develop their practice of teaching.
“White Women’s Work” takes an in-depth look at the implications of race on teaching, the dominance of whiteness in teacher preparation and the significance of white racial identity on one’s teaching effectiveness. Chapters feature considerations useful for educators to take into their own classrooms. Moreover, the book equips readers to respond to the needs of all students in attending contemporary American schools.
“The book centers conversations around race. It helps readers understand why and how it is impacting our teaching,” Warren added.
The book, published by Information Age Publishing in February 2017, is now available.