Walking on Egg Shells: Colorblind Ideology and Race Talk in Teacher Education
Rudnick, Dennis L.
MetadataShow full item record
ABSTRACT Background/Context: Teacher education students in the U.S., regardless of their personal beliefs, knowledge, and levels of awareness, are racially positioned to participate in an education system and society embedded in colorblind ideology. More research is needed that describes the ways in which colorblind ideology informs how teacher education students understand and talk about race, racism, and education. This study addresses this knowledge gap by focusing on the dispositional and discursive narratives of individual teacher education students and their relationship to larger ideological, institutional, and structural contexts. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how teacher education students understand and talk about race, racism, and education in the context of colorblind ideology. This study narrows the research lens to focus deeply on the vantage points of teacher education students, their life histories and experiences, and how they think and talk about race, racism, and education, both generally and within their teacher education program. Research Design: Using critical race theory as a conceptual framework and grounded theory as a methodology, I developed an interview series with six teacher education students. Findings: Analysis of the interviews revealed five integrated themes about colorblind ideology, and the race talk of teacher education students: (1) racial socialization; (2) feeling and dealing with race talk; (3) abstract liberalism; (4) the pitfalls of good intentions; and (5) institutional challenges. Conclusions/Recommendations: This study pushes the field to (1) consider a more comprehensive understanding of colorblind ideology; and (2) develop more empirical work on the relationship between colorblind ideology, race talk, and teacher education. The study recommends that teacher education professors and programs should cultivate color-conscious spaces, and provide and encourage ongoing, sustainable professional development opportunities on issues of race and racism for faculty, staff, and students.
- Education - Seattle