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ERIC Number: EJ1072199
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Examining Discourses of an Aspiring Teacher of Color in the Figured World of Schooling
Gomez, Mary Louise
Teacher Education Quarterly, v41 n1 p45-62 Win 2014
Having been concerned with the recruitment, enrollment, and retention of teachers of color nationally and at State University (all names of persons, places, and institutions in this article have been given pseudonyms) where she serves as chair of elementary education, author Mary Gomez was intrigued by the experiences that students of color were having in a course she devised for aspiring teachers (those not yet admitted to a teacher education program). She began teaching this course, featuring the intersections of race, class, gender, social class, sexual orientation, and language background in fall 2011, and has taught it to groups of mostly freshmen and sophomores each semester since that time. To date, 167 undergraduates have enrolled in Critical Aspects of Teaching, Schooling, and Education. Of these students, 146 have been White, 16 have been students of color, and five have been international students. Gomez writes that she was especially interested in exploring the life experiences, thinking, and discourses of students of color as they are an under-represented group on campus and in the teaching profession as well. This article focuses on one aspiring teacher who was one of Gomez's most articulate and engaged students. Because Mandi expressed understandings about teaching that were both like and unlike those of many of her white female peers, Gomez was especially intrigued by conversations with her. Mandi seemed to be having an internal debate about what worked in supporting student learning and achievement: Did the answers lie in implementation of social justice pedagogy or perhaps in students' conformity to explicit school rules and teachers' tacit beliefs about how a "good" student behaves? Based on these conversations, Gomez asks two questions: (1) What understandings did one aspiring teacher of color bring to the course and how did she respond to the intersectional dimensions of race, class, gender, language background, and sexual orientation discussed during the course? (2) How did the course confirm or disrupt discourses that this student was confronting? and (3) What ideas did she encounter that became internally persuasive ones for her? This article provides examples of how mentoring with new internally persuasive discourses might be implemented in schools. Gomez believes that teacher educators can play a role in this process by leading discussions with and creating possibilities for aspiring teachers to generate and enact equitable classroom practices. Teacher educators are encouraged to create possibilities for aspiring teachers to develop relationships that foster imagining and re-imagining themselves and their students for the benefit of both. Gomez adds that it seems especially important to do so for aspiring teachers of color like Mandi, who may face many more challenges in their paths to teaching and mentoring youth than their majority peers.
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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