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ERIC Number: EJ1015044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
The Silenced Dialogue and Pre-Service Teachers
Curry, Kristal
Multicultural Education, v20 n2 p27-32 Win 2013
In this article, the author reflects on the 1988 article "The Silenced Dialogue," by Lisa Delpit, which described the lack of communication dividing Black and White educators when it comes to the issue of race, specifically due to the disparity between reliance on theory (White) and reliance on cultural understanding (Black). Nearly a quarter century has passed since that article was written, but research about the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of both Black and White educators seems to indicate that the Silenced Dialogue continues to exist in teacher education programs as well as in the broader world of the American education system (Dickar, 2008; Hayes & Juarez, 2012). As a Diversity course instructor in a teacher education program, this author began to wonder where she and her students fit into this dynamic of the Silenced Dialogue. Thinking back on her teaching tended to indicate that the Black and White students in her reflection-heavy and discussion-heavy courses frequently drew on their own educational experiences to try to reach each other, to tell each other about experiences of which the other may not be aware. The research project reported here was born from this author's attempt to more systematically explore the manifestations of the Silenced Dialogue with her own pre-service students. To this end, this research project explored two related research questions: (1) How did the "Silenced Dialogue" manifest in pre-service teachers' reflections about contemporary diversity issues, especially "White privilege"? and (2) In what ways did gender complicate or enrich this understanding of the nature of racial talk in candidate's journals? Specifically, she sought to analyze various features of the pre-service teachers' reflections--including the word choices and the selection of topics considered in each reflection--to see how the "Silenced Dialogue" manifests in these documents. She also sought to understand how and why males and females each approached racial topics in their journals differently.The goal was for the combination of these two analyses to contribute to discussions surrounding the perpetuation of the "Silenced Dialogue" in schools of education. The results were simultaneously disheartening and hopeful. Disheartening in that Black and White students still had strikingly different approaches to the topic of White privilege. At the same time, her analysis does provide hope for educators, as candidates (especially female candidates) appeared willing to grapple with their feelings toward White privilege. They overwhelmingly agreed that it did in fact exist, and that they wanted to create safe spaces in their classrooms where racism would not exist. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A