Everyone Has a Story: A Collaborative Inquiry Project by Five Teacher Candidates of Color and One White Professor

  • Laura Bower-Phipps Southern Connecticut State University
  • Rachel Watanabe Tate Southern Connecticut State University
  • Sejal Mehta Southern Connecticut State University
  • Amanda L. Sature Southern Connecticut State University
Keywords: diversity, teachers of color, cooperative inquiry, teacher identity

Abstract

Initiatives to increase the number of teachers of color in U.S. public schools must be accompanied by culturally relevant teacher preparation for candidates of color. This study is a cooperative inquiry (Heron, 1996) conceived, conducted, and analyzed by five preservice teachers of color and one of their professors, a white lesbian. The women met biweekly for a year to co-construct meaning from their experiences in a teacher education program. They analyzed data sources together, including meeting transcripts, autobiographical sketches, and reflective writing on themes from the data. Key findings include the complexity of teacher candidates’ identities; the importance of support systems for teacher candidates of color, particularly within predominantly white contexts; the connection between teacher candidates’ backgrounds and their visions as teachers; and the role others’ perceptions, particularly teacher educators, have played in teacher candidates becoming teachers.

Author Biographies

Laura Bower-Phipps, Southern Connecticut State University

Laura Bower-Phipps, PhD, is an assistant professor of education at Southern Connecticut State University. Her research centers on diversity in teacher education. Previous publications highlighted lesbian mothers’ experiences with their children’s teachers and the identities of mother/educator/lesbians. Her current work engages self-identified minorities, including men and individuals of color, in cooperative inquiry groups. 

 

Rachel Watanabe Tate, Southern Connecticut State University

Rachel W. Tate is an Autism teacher in the Washington D.C. area. She has been a special education teacher for three years and enjoys working with all of her students

 

Sejal Mehta, Southern Connecticut State University

Sejal Mehta has been working at Nichols Elementary School in Stratford, Connecticut.  She will be pursuing her Masters degree in Special Education.  

Amanda L. Sature, Southern Connecticut State University

Amanda L. Sature has recently graduated from Southern Connecticut State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Ms. Sature has previously conducted research on diversity in the elementary classroom. She intends to continue investigating topics in the field of elementary education.

Published
2013-03-04
How to Cite
Bower-Phipps, L., Tate, R., Mehta, S., & Sature, A. (2013). Everyone Has a Story: A Collaborative Inquiry Project by Five Teacher Candidates of Color and One White Professor. Current Issues in Education, 16(1). Retrieved from https://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/1074
Section
Articles