1st Edition

Learning and Teaching While White Antiracist Strategies for School Communities

    240 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    We need to name whiteness, in order to move toward antiracism.

    For too long, white educators have relied on people of color to make change to a relentlessly racist school system. Racial equity will not come until white educators recognize their role in supporting racist policies and practices, and take responsibility for dismantling them.

    Learning and Teaching While White is an accessible guide to help white educators, leaders, students, and parents develop an explicit, skills-based antiracist practice. Through their own experiences working with school communities, and the strategies and tools they have developed, Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi share how white educators can gain greater consciousness of their own white racial identity; analyze the role of whiteness in their school systems; rethink pedagogical approaches and curricular topics; address the role of white parents in the pursuit of racial literacy and equity; and much more. Their book will empower white educators to be part of creating a more equitable educational system for all students.

    Foreword by Howard C. Stevenson




    Part I

    Preparing for Action—Reflection, Reframing, and New Understandings

    1 Foggy Mirrors 

    2 Talking About Race Means Talking About Whiteness 

    3 Analyzing How Whiteness Operates as a System in Our Schools 


    Part II

    Steps for Action—Antiracist Strategies for Educational Communities

    4 Locating Ourselves Within Whiteness 

    5 Rooting and Shifting: Rethinking Pedagogical Approaches and Curricular Topics 

    6 Assessment and Feedback 

    7 Developing an Antiracist Leadership Practice 

    8 The Role of White Parents in the Pursuit of Racial Literacy and Equity 



    Appendix A: The Costs of Racism to White People 

    Appendix B: White Antiracist Activists 

    Appendix C: Cycle of Oppression 


    Elizabeth Denevi is an educator, diversity consultant, and cofounder of the popular professional development site Teaching While White. As Director of the Eastern Educational Resource Collaborative, Dr. Denevi has worked with educational institutions across the country to promote equity and diversity pedagogy. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

      Jenna Chandler-Ward is an educator, diversity consultant, and cofounder of the popular professional development site Teaching While White. With over two decades of experience, she has been an educator in non-profits, schools, and colleges working with students from kindergarten to adult learners. Jenna was also a founder and co-director of the Multicultural Teaching Institute, which produces workshops and a conference for educators on issues of equity and inclusion. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

      "What readers find when they open Learning and Teaching While White is a path to becoming a racially aware white educator. This is not just a book, it is a critical, personal exploration of self and system that the authors carefully scaffold to enhance the skill of white educators, both as teachers and as humans."

      Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., founder of The White Privilege Conference


      "Yes! A nuanced and accessible resource for white teachers who have consistently asked, ‘What do I do?’ This excellent book answers that question, from two highly experienced white teachers who have been engaged in the work of anti-racist practice for decades. This is an essential guidebook that needs to be on every white teacher's shelf."

      Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility and Nice Racism


      "Learning and Teaching While White is the book educators need right now. As reactionary forces seek to stifle equity efforts in schools and intimidate teachers from discussing race, Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi have provided an indispensable and practical guide for teachers who know the importance of this work but are uncertain of how to do it. A must-read for all who care about racial equity, the creation of white antiracist solidarity, and the future of America."

      Tim Wise, antiracist educator, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race From A Privileged Son


      "This book will equip white educators for their job. If our educators had this outstanding racial literacy toolkit, it would have defogged the racial lies we grew up with and urged us all to reconsider our responsibilities toward each other. It would have altered the trajectory of our time in US K–12 schools."

      Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi, cofounders of CHOOSE and authors of Tell Me Who You Are


      "Learning and Teaching While White is the best book on race in the classroom that I have ever read and it has had a profound effect on how I teach. Its approach is an accessible one, but its diagnosis of White racial amnesia is as useful and precise as it is intimate. Not only do the authors give the reader a way into a very complex subject, they offer often vulnerable examples from their own experience that make the stakes of the work clear while offering a practical path forward. Anyone interested in education in the broadest sense—from teachers to parents to mentors—should buy this book."

      —Adam Haslett, Director, Creative Writing Program, Hunter College

      Novelist, two-time Pulitzer Finalist