Breakin’ Down Whiteness in Antiracist Teaching: Introducing Critical Whiteness Pedagogy

Cheryl E. Matias, Janiece Mackey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Because of the changing nature of race the role of antiracist teaching is a forever-evolving process. Acknowledging that the majority of the U.S. teaching force, from K-12 to teacher education in institutions of higher education, are white middle-class females, it becomes imperative to unveil pedagogical applications of critical whiteness studies. Unwillingness to do so maintains the recycled nature of the hegemonic whiteness that dominates the field of education. This reflective paper examines the implemented pedagogies of a teacher education diversity course which begin to break down the whiteness ideology embedded in teacher candidates (i.e., pre-service teachers). Although the course’s application of critical whiteness studies was in no way complete, it framed a pedagogical strategy for self-interrogation of whiteness, one that can be implemented in other teacher education courses across the nation. Adding to the existing field of research, this paper provides concrete teaching strategies about how to employ critical whiteness studies in teacher education, and examines the implications of such pedagogies in relation to the roles of racial justice and antiracist teaching. By including feedback from teacher candidates themselves, this paper demonstrates how effective the pedagogies were in preparing a majority of white female teacher candidates for urban teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-50
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Antiracist
  • Critical race theory
  • Pedagogy
  • Teacher education
  • Teaching
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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