Exploring Cross-Race Dyad Partnerships in Learning to Teach
by R. Patrick Solomon - 2000
This three-year study examined ways in which race mediates the process of learning to teach. The innovation of pairing racial minority and dominant group teacher candidates in field-based practica was based on the rationale that such collaboration would enrich the pedagogical process with different perspectives, traditions, resources, and experiences from which teacher candidates, associate teachers, and students would benefit. The findings revealed that such partnerships broke down some racial barriers, tackled sensitive racial and cultural issues, helped in the acquisition of awareness and competence to function in cross-race domains, and laid the foundation for long-term social and professional relationships. On the other hand, the study uncovered an institutional culture that interpreted racial difference as deficit and generated paralytic anxiety for candidates of color, marginalizing them in the communication process. Such institutional and personal responses limited the potential of such partnerships as a collegial enterprise. While dominant group partners gained valuable insights into how racism operates in institutional structures, candidates of color often ended up as disempowered apprentices with their expectations seriously compromised and their long-term objectives to transform the teaching profession immeasurably jeopardized.
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