Constructing an Image of a White Teacher by Alice McIntyre — 1997This article explores how a small group of white middle?and upper–middle–class
female student teachers constructed an image of what it means to be a “white?
teacher. Through the use of qualitative participatory action research methods, the
participants in this study critically reflected on their understandings of multicultural
education and their positions as white student teachers involved in a teacher
The participants were invited to be researchers about their daily lives, to pose problems
that arose from the complexities of their own racial identities, and to develop
realistic solutions for dealing with racism in their classrooms. Through initial one-to-
one interviews, and during eight two-hour group sessions, the participants were
provided with opportunities to view themselves as “white? an experience that was
relatively new to them. It also provided them with a challenging and highly provocative
way to view their roles as white teachers.
The data presented in this article suggest that by white educators?questioning and
confronting their white identities and challenging the meaning of being “white?
teachers, they can more effectively pursue teaching practices that significantly alter
the way white students are educated about themselves and about multicultural
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