White, middle-class women make up the majority of public school teachers in the United States of America while the student population is diversifying rapidly (Taie & Goldring, 2017). The need for these educators to cultivate a critical consciousness is high if our education system is to be equitable for all students (Winans, 2012). This study focuses on an embodied approach to teacher reflexivity by paying attention to teachers’ emotions and wondering about what those emotions might mean in relation to the beliefs and values that undergird teaching philosophies. In this post-intentional phenomenological study, I investigate the phenomenon of white, middle-class women educators reading their embodied emotions evoked in classroom moments circulating with race and/or class. Four women, including the author, shared emotionally evocative moments and analyzed them over a series of individual and collective interviews. The shared classroom moments were all marked by conflicting emotional responses within the same moment (e.g. joy and despair, guilt and pride, anger and shame, power and helplessness). When we talked about our emotionally evocative classroom moments, the ideology of white femininity and of motherhood pervaded all of the moments. The social control of emotions (Boler, 1999) was also evident in the emotionally conflicted embodied responses we felt and how we policed our own emotional responses to the moments we shared. These contradictions indicated areas to question our beliefs and values about our pedagogical choices, our teaching philosophies, and institutional narratives of teaching guiding those choices and philosophies. Implications from this study are methodological, practical, and theoretical. Identifying and writing feminist storylines that include emotions for reading educational moments is a methodological implication of this study. Historicizing teacher education with preservice teachers and incorporating the teaching philosophy as a foundational and adaptable tool are practical implications for teacher education. Decoupling the notion of caring from the ideal of the teacher/mother and transitioning to caring as teacher/artist is a theoretical implication of this work.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2018. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Mark Vagle. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 160 pages.
The Caring Police Wear Cardigans: Reading Embodied Emotions Towards Anti-Oppressive Education.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.