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ERIC Number: EJ1008366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Waiting for Superwoman: White Female Teachers and the Construction of the "Neoliberal Savior" in a New York City public school
Brown, Amy
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v11 n2 p123-164 Mar 2013
The narrative of gendered White savior in urban classrooms is ubiquitous not only in film (Smith, 1995, LaGravenese, 2007), but also in popular and academic literature. White female teachers are at the front of the majority of increasingly privatized U.S. classrooms (Pickower, 2009, Cochran-Smith, 2004). This article ethnographically critiques the trope of the White female savior teacher in the context of a New York City public school, which I call the College Preparatory Academy (College Prep), where I conducted two years of ethnographic teacher research. College Prep created its own in-house nonprofit organization in 2008 and is dependent on corporate charity to create a colorblind and meritocratic "college-going culture." Based on data gathered from four of College Prep's White female teachers, I create two composite characters, which I contrast with the "ideal type" White saviors found in media and literature. I analyze how my data articulates with the construction of race, class and neoliberalism in U.S. public education, and argue for possible alternatives to the troubling trope of the "White neoliberal savior" in education. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York