Confronting the Ugly Truth: The (Un)Making of a 'Good' White Teacher on the Canadian Prairies
Through this autoethnographic inquiry into the writing of poststructural, critical race, and critical whiteness scholars, I sought understanding of the social and political forces that made me as a ‘good’ white female teacher on the Canadian prairies and the consequences of performing this subject role over four decades of teaching within the public education system. I visualized this inquiry as a puzzle whose interconnected pieces I was compelled to identify and understand as part of my exploration as to whether I could (un)make my constructed subject identity and performance as a ‘good’ white female teacher. I needed to understand both the role I filled so well, according to the expectations of the system I served, and the harmful consequences of that invested performativity so that I could explore possibilities for conscious identity (re)construction and performativity. My research findings point to significant and grave consequences for everyone involved, including Indigenous students, students of colour, white students, and me. My research also points the way to hope and agency on this personal and critically introspective journey of truth and reconciliation.
white teacher performativity, colonial public education system, white racial teacher identity
Master of Education (M.Ed.)