Year after year we, teachers, teacher educators, and social studies scholars, chronicle the myriad ways curriculum and practice reinforce systemic and systematic oppression in the United States. We document how social studies textbooks and state standards carefully script the American story—a story that largely erases the histories and experiences of our families, friends, teachers, and students who identify as women, non-Christian, Arab, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and/or LBGTQ+. We further document how curricula celebrate a United States defined within whiteness, heteronormativity, and the settler colonial narrative of progress (see examples: Chan-
dler, 2015; Ladson-Billings, 2003; Mayo, 2017; Yoder, Johnson, & Karam, 2017). In light of these acts of curricular violence, we put forth arguments for tearing down these legal and cultural strangleholds, but to what ends? The 2016 election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States put into sharp focus just how deep and strong the roots of race, gender, sexual, and religious-based hatred truly go in this country. In The New Yorker, Toni Morrison (2016) wrote, So scary are the consequences of a collapse of White privilege that many violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble. (n.p.) Hatred and the fear of an ever-changing, ever-diversifying “America” unleashed a deafening roar in 2016 and reminded those of us who center our teaching toward justice that the road ahead is fraught with danger.
Race Lessons, pages ix–xii
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A critical resource for pre-service and practicing teachers, this book addresses what happens when new teachers try to enact inquiry-based and dialogical pedagogy within standardized schools. Exploring the narratives from beginning ELA and humanities teachers when they encounter challenges and obstructions, this book explores moments of wobble―key events that called attention to practice in the context of inflexible schooling systems―that the teachers shared with their peers via an oral inquiry process (OIP) to help them unpack and understand their experiences.
This book advocates for the continued use and enhancement of mentoring and induction initiatives, particularly those that recognize the expressed concerns of novice teachers, no matter what their pedagogical stance might be. By sharing novice teachers’ “wobble stories” and their outcomes, this book provides a pathway for teachers’ continued self-reflection and growth for the duration of their careers. The authors offer a reflective, adaptable, and easy-to-use process that places teachers in control of their own professional learning. The beliefs and structures examined in this text support the intentions of all teachers who work from a learning-centered perspective and wish to take some ownership of their professional development.