Raciolinguistic policy assemblages and white supremacy in teacher education


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Raciolinguistic ideologies are sets of beliefs about language which perceive racialised communities as displaying linguistic deficiencies which require remediation. These ideologies are tethered to European colonialism and white supremacist logics which have long been normalised and actively written into teacher education policy in England. In this article I argue that raciolinguistic ideologies are integral to the contemporary, state-crafted policy assemblage that pre-service teachers and teacher educators must navigate, including the Teachers’ Standards, the Core Content Framework and various documents produced by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate. I argue that this policy assemblage represents a form of hostile governance which is attempting to derail and curtail anti-racist efforts. I show how raciolinguistic ideologies surface under guises of career advancement, pedagogical excellence, scientific objectivity, research validity and social justice. These guises operate to coerce pre-service teachers and teacher educators to reproduce raciolinguistic ideologies in their own practice, reduce professional agency and place responsibility on low-income and racialised communities to modify their language towards idealised whiteness. The article ends with some proposals for how teacher educators might find cracks in this oppressive system, in locating spaces for resistance which seek to undo harmful and colonial ideologies about language in the struggle against white supremacy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Early online date9 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2022


  • raciolinguistic ideologies
  • white supremacy
  • teacher education
  • language policy
  • Ofsted

Research Centres

  • International Centre on Racism


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