Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon

Committee Members

A. Anderson, J. Laughter, M. Misawa


Whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy are oppressive power structures that invisibly condition educational relationships among all students, teachers, and teacher educators. To undermine this destructive pattern, white teacher educators must actively commit to an ongoing and life-long process of white identity (re)formation that informs antiracist pedagogical praxis and models self -reflective practices for their pre-service teachers. The purpose of this poetic narrative evocative autoethnography is to show but one example of how a white teacher educator might begin this emotionally forward transformative experience.

The researcher, a white teacher educator at a southeastern United States public 4-year institution, developed a narrative poetic evocative autoethnography of his emotional interactions with his white identity. Utilizing the poststructuralist understanding of subjectivity, critical whiteness studies, and the emotionally forward writing concepts of the mestiza consciousness the poetic narrative shares his unique transformative experience. The following research question and sub-questions guided the study: RQ1. How can I keep myself from reinscribing whiteness, white supremacy, and enacting white privilege as a white teacher educator? RQ1a. How do I reconcile my whiteness, which cannot be denied, with my responsibility to teach educators to create and sustain just and equitable classrooms for all learners? RQ1b. How am I reflective/reflexive about my own identity (re)development through, and as a result of, the emotions connected to seeing and understanding my whiteness? RQ1c. How can I authentically explore the fluid process of my white identity (re)development that encourages and supports an antiracist pedagogy?

The poetic narrative was analyzed using Helms’ (2020) and Howard’s (2016) white identity models and by exploring the structural and emotional elements that make the writing deeply personal. This analysis found that there is no definitive, fixed, or finite way in which to prevent the reinscription of whiteness, white supremacy, or white privileged behavior as a white teacher educator. Humbly, this research suggests that only through the committed and ongoing process of better knowing themself as white can a teacher educator work toward being an antiracist educator who actively threatens the further entrenchment of whiteness, white supremacy, or white privileged among pre-service teachers.

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