What will we teach the teachers? Grappling with racism in a professional development setting

Lenora Crabtree, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Preethi Titu, Kennesaw State University


This paper is a result of the reflection on Kristin Searle, Colby Tofel-Grehl, Andrea Hawkman, Mario Suarez, and Beth MacDonald’s paper, “Whiteness at work in the elementary classroom: a case study,” which follows a White male teacher as he is trained to employ an integrated technology unit that connects science, social studies, and language arts. The need for teachers to integrate content in culturally relevant ways is imperative as schools become increasingly diverse. Our engagement with this paper left us to question whether the professional development program was designed to support Mr. Anderson’s (and other teachers’) sociopolitical consciousness and subsequently his (and their) capacity to enact Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. In this forum, we offer grappling with racism as a foundational practice for teacher education as a way to interrupt dysconsciousness among science education researchers and teacher educators, as well as those with whom we learn.