Producing (White) Teachers: A Geneaology of Secondary Teacher Education in Regina
Cappello, Michael Patrick
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Thinking about race in education, especially in the multicultural or even “postracial” context of 2012, is not an easy thing. A paradox exists: On the one hand, race is powerfully present in teachers, in teaching, and in school contexts; on the other, teachers, generally, are unable to think about their work and practices in the context of race. This dissertation explores this paradox by asking the following question: How does pre-service teacher education produce teachers as racialized subjects? This dissertation is informed by the Foucaultian methodology of genealogy and poststructural theories of subjectivity. Through genealogy, this work presents a cogent history of secondary teacher education in Regina, Saskatchewan, that is both critical and effective; critical, because it undermines the continuity forced onto teacher education through more traditional history, and effective, because it is focused on exploring the development of particular kinds of subjects. This genealogical analysis examines how White teacher subjectivity is produced through three modes: (a) how the White teacher subject is produced in racialized discourses, especially through notions of racelessness that erase racializing processes even as they are enacted; (b) how the White teacher subject is produced through technologies of power, especially the embedding of technical rationality as the core of teaching; and, (c) how the White teacher subject produces him/herself through techniques of the self, such as clinical supervision and self-reflection. While the analysis traces the production of dominant White subjects through teacher education, poststructural subjectivity allows at least the possibility that changing the discourses and practices might produce different subjectivities. Understanding what else is accomplished in the attempt to train teachers through these technical models is a necessary step in addressing the continuing dominance of White racial identities that schooling seems to perpetuate.