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Critical Whiteness

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Critical Whiteness Teaching Philosophy
Deidra Ruchaber

The following is an account of my personal journey towards a teaching philosophy centered around my understanding of my own critical Whiteness. I examine my past experiences, present attitudes about privilege, and current capacity to be an effective multicultural educator. Along with these reflections, I discuss the impact that Gary R. Howard and Peggy McIntosh have had on my journey.

Critical Whiteness Teaching Philosophy
After reading Gary R. Howard’s book, We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know, I found myself so thankful for this book. I am someone who feels relatively comfortable with my growth in multicultural and multiracial issues. I have been on a journey that has given me insight into the lives of diverse groups of people and I felt like I was progressive in my thinking. Apparently, I had just scratched the surface of what kind of acceptance and understanding I could achieve. Reading these books and writing this paper has allowed me to expand on the positive changes I have made in my belief systems, and also illustrated to me how I can continue to develop, multiculturally. Influential Past Experiences

I previously shared how closely related my experience of discovery of diversity was to that of Gary R. Howard’s. I grew up in a white neighborhood with white schools and white teachers. I was never challenged by diversity until I went to college. My freshman year, I took a sociology course and I fell in love with the subject matter. I felt enlightened and awakened by the topics of race, class, and gender and how these group identities affected individuals. My beliefs systems were being challenged and I was learning about the inaccurate histories I was taught in high school. I remember the first day of Sociology 101. The professor, Dr. Koch, had written on the chalkboard (yes, chalkboard…that ages me, I know), “A black man is running down...

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