Beacon Press: Reading, Writing, and Racism
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Reading, Writing, and Racism

Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom

Author: Bree Picower

An examination of how curriculum choices can perpetuate white supremacy and radical strategies for how schools and teacher education programs can disrupt and transform racist curriculum

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 a 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 happen in teacher education programs.

Drawing on her experience teaching and developing a program that pairs pre-service teachers students with mentors who focus on social justice and antiracist professional development, Picower demonstrates how individual teacher’s 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 teacher education programs, and how it 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 race in their classrooms.
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Reading, Writing, and Racism is a clearly written, no-holds-barred gem of a book that every teacher educator must read. Drawing on her incisive critique of curriculum and teacher ideology, along with interviews with racial justice teacher educators, Picower cogently frames how whiteness works in teacher education, while showing us how to upend it.”
—Christine Sleeter, coauthor of Transformative Ethnic Studies in Schools: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Research

“The egregious, racist actions of a subset of school teachers that have gone viral on social media may seem like outliers in an otherwise just system and profession, but they are not, as argued compellingly in Reading, Writing, and Racism. What and how we teach, and who teaches, and how we prepare them should not be presumed to be somehow immune from the long legacies of white supremacy and colonialism that have shaped US schooling from its very beginning. Reframing and reorienting more forcefully toward racial justice requires tackling these legacies head-on in programs that prepare, support, connect, celebrate, and hold accountable educators—and Bree Picower offers us frameworks, models, and hope for doing precisely that, when the need could not be more great.”
—Kevin Kumashiro, author of Bad Teacher! How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture

“Bree Picower continues to lead in anti-racist teacher education. Reading, Writing, and Racism is eminently useful for pre-service and in-service teachers to reflect on how they may have perpetuated whiteness in their own teaching or experienced it as students themselves. This is a must-read for all future and current teachers interested in racial justice in the classroom.”
—Wayne Au, professor at the University of Washington School of Educational Studies and editor of Rethinking Schools

“Coupling an urgent call to action with the practical supports required to act, this book offers a vision for and examples of the kind of humanizing, healing practices that successfully prepare teachers to struggle for racial justice through their everyday work. For those committed to rooting out the curricular violence of Whiteness, this book is right on time.”
—Carla Shalaby, author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School

Reading, Writing, and Racism

ISBN: 978-080703370-8
Publication Date: 1/26/2021
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $24.95
Format: Cloth
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: January 2021
(Backorder policy)