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