‘Race', culture and all that: An exploration of the perspectives of White secondary student teachers about race equality issues in their initial teacher education (ITE)’.

Vini Lander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


This research explores the racialised perceptions of White students teachers who are preparing to teach in secondary schools in a diverse society. Student teachers’ views about Black and minority ethnic (BME) pupils are often cast in the language of otherness. This research was conducted in a post-1992 university in the south of England where the majority of students on initial teacher education (ITE) programmes are White, which reflects the ethnicity of serving teachers in England (95.5% of whom are White). In England all student teachers are required to fulfil the Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status 2007 which incorporates statements on the understanding of cultural and linguistic issues. It could be argued that the inclusion of such standards would result in student teachers who are competent in these aspects. But this is not borne out in the annual survey of newly qualified teachers. This research draws on critical race theory as a theoretical framework to analyse how the students’ ethnicity influenced their initial perceptions and how notions of White privilege might inform their positions and responses to race-related issues in school. The interviews with student teachers revealed the inadequacy of their initial preparation to deal with the ‘scary’ situations associated with race issues in school. There are implications for ITE policy, the curriculum and practice with particular reference to the institutional and school-based interface of ITE programmes. Keywords: initial teacher education; critical race theory; Whiteness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-364
JournalRace, Ethnicity and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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