Cultural mismatch; Culturally and linguistically diverse; Diversity; Identity; Multicultural education; Teachers – Training of; Transformationist teaching; White teachers; Whites – Race identity
Many White, middle-class educators experience challenges as they attempt to teach in racially diverse classrooms. This article explores and challenges a widely held and often unexamined conception of White in-service teachers as learners about issues of diversity and equity vis-à-vis voluntary professional development. This study sought to examine how White in-service teachers explore their racial identity and how identity awareness influences their ability to successfully meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Participants were part of a voluntary book discussion professional-development program offered by a community multicultural center in collaboration with surrounding school districts. The findings of a need for localizing change and engaging in a journey towards equity suggest a need for critical dialogue allowing White in-service teachers to recognize themselves as racial beings. The study results indicate for a need for focused professional development addressing cultural competency in the changing cultural climate of public schools.