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ERIC Number: EJ1120318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-9035
The Trouble with Niceness: How a Preference for Pleasantry Sabotages Culturally Responsive Teacher Preparation
Bissonnette, Jeanne Dyches
Journal of Language and Literacy Education, v12 n2 p9-32 Fall 2016
Because few teacher education programs are truly rooted in the philosophical aims of multicultural and social justice education (Asher, 2007; Banks, 2008; Hayes & Juarez, 2012; Miller, 2014), many pre-service teachers (PSTs) remain unpracticed--and unable--to teach in culturally responsive ways (Sleeter, 2012). But what structures and forces bear the culpability for the long documented shortcomings of this preparation? And how can literacy teacher educators honor their commitment to preparing practitioners capable of teaching "all" children? Here, the author postulates the ways in which teacher education programs' preference for niceness functions as an iteration of Whiteness that obstructs attempts to actualize culturally responsive teacher preparation, tending specifically to the complicity of audit culture, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, and curricula and instruction. In an effort to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the culture of niceness, the author offers successful approaches to training PSTs for teaching in culturally responsive ways, including displaying sociocultural vulnerability, modeling and creating opportunities for critical reflection, and collaborating alongside PSTs to craft a transformative curriculum.
Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. 315 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-7866; Fax: 706-542-3817; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A