Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider the experience of a white teacher to attain greater understanding of racial identities, especially whiteness, and reconsider the current understandings of whiteness and whiteness pedagogy. The author argues that notions of whiteness are social constructions, and that reconstructions of conventional understandings of whiteness could provide more nuanced understandings of whiteness that might facilitate more sophisticated considerations of how race and whiteness continue to influence schooling practices. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses autoethnography, a version of narrative inquiry, to consider issues related to the intersection of whiteness and education. The author recounts, reflects on and interprets a body of experiential knowledge to illuminate the experience of being a white teacher in both a racially diverse school and one that was more homogeneously white. These experiences are interpreted and placed in the context of scholarly work to frame an argument regarding a more sophisticated conceptualization of whiteness and its position in efforts toward inclusive and mutli-cultural education. Findings: This paper closes with the argument that whiteness needs to be troubled and understood in more sophisticated ways than a traditional white privilege framework has allowed and accounted for directly in school settings in the USA. Originality/value: This paper is original and valuable, mostly because it uses narrative to share the unique and complex experience of a white teacher who attempted to account for and consider the presence of whiteness over the 30 years in his career.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Linguistics and Language