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Getting Out of the Left Lane: The Possibility of White Antiracist Pedagogy

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Abstract

This article maintains that knowledge of the literature on multicultural education and social justice pedagogy is indispensable for white college professors who desire to teach effectively about racial justice concerns. In exploring this literature, I have noticed that many publications either articulate theory or reflect on concrete classroom strategies, while relatively few deploy theory to evaluate specific attempts at teaching for justice. This seems to me a gap worth filling. Speaking as a white, conventionally trained, Catholic theologian, I begin by explaining why I deem it appropriate to employ antiracist pedagogy. I then demonstrate that the literature on multicultural education and social justice pedagogy is essential to this effort by utilizing both types of literature, theoretical and practical, to analyze my own strategies and goals to date. Throughout, I discuss white antiracist theological pedagogy not as an accomplished fact, but as an emerging endeavor. See a companion essay in this issue of the journal (Anna Floerke Scheid and Elisabeth T. Vasko, “Teaching Race: Pedagogical Challenges in Predominantly White Undergraduate Theology Classrooms”), and responses by the authors of both essays, also published in this issue of the journal (“Responses: Toward an Antiracist Pedagogy”).

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