An examination of how curriculum choices can perpetuate White supremacy, and radical strategies for how schools and teacher education programs can disrupt and transform racism in education.
When racist curriculum “goes viral” on social media, it is typically dismissed as an isolated incident from a “bad” teacher. Educator Bree Picower, however, holds that racist curriculum isn’t an anomaly. It’s a systemic problem that reflects how Whiteness is embedded and reproduced in education. In Reading, Writing, and Racism,
Picower argues that White teachers must reframe their understanding about race in order to advance racial justice and that this must begin in teacher education programs.
Drawing on her experience teaching and developing a program that prepares teachers to focus on social justice and antiracism, Picower demonstrates how teachers’ ideology of race, consciously or unconsciously, shapes how they teach race in the classroom. She also examines current examples of racist curricula that have gone viral to demonstrate how Whiteness is entrenched in schools and how this reinforces racial hierarchies in the younger generation.
With a focus on institutional strategies, Picower shows how racial justice can be built into programs across the teacher education pipeline—from admission to induction. By examining the who, what, why, and how of racial justice teacher education, she provides radical possibilities for transforming how teachers think about, and teach about, race in their classrooms.