As student populations become culturally and linguistically diverse, mismatches between students and the mostly White teaching force create challenges for schools and teacher education programs. This article—drawing from the Coaching With CARE project and building on research valuing the role of cooperating teachers (CTs) in supporting critical, socially just teaching—examines c/Critical conversations between CTs and preservice teachers (PTs) to highlight ways CTs may bring critical understandings into mentoring work. Findings show that using tools like retrospective video analysis (RVA) and responsive critical discourse analysis (CDA) helped provide space for some CTs to engage in critical discussions of traditional power hierarchies within the classroom, the roles they and their students assume in societal power structures, and ways those understandings may affect their classroom teaching. The examples also demonstrate the challenges facing teacher educators who hope to engage in similar work and importance of professional development for CTs that includes critical reflection on their own identities and power.
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