A Phenomenological Exploration of the Hegemonic Insider-Outsider in Teacher Education

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A Phenomenological Exploration of the Hegemonic Insider-Outsider in Teacher Education

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Social justice-oriented teacher education is a way for prospective teachers to learn and practice taking critical perspectives and use reflection for their future teaching practice (McDonald & Zeichner, 2009). Despite preservice teachers’ interest and effort in engaging with racially and culturally just educational work, their approaches often result in (re)producing the marginalization of people of color and/or people from non-dominant backgrounds (Leonardo, 2013). Meanwhile, studies have addressed how preservice teachers feel when they are forced to engage in anti-racist work when they have little space to reconcile the dilemmas they may experience during their journeys to becoming critical educators (Mason, 2016; Philip & Zavala, 2016). In this dissertation research, I seek ways to support preservice teachers’ engagement with the topics and practices related to race, racism, and cultural diversity. This work is grounded in the understanding that various axes and dimensions of power relations deeply inform teacher practice (Asher, 2007) and assumes that future teachers must learn how to navigate various forms of domination and exclusion in society. The four main areas of scholarship are in the foreground of this study: (Critical) Whiteness Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Feminist Theory, and Intersectionality Theory. In terms of research methodology, based on Vagle’s (2018) post-intentional phenomenology, I suggest intercultural post-intentional phenomenology by claiming the necessity of intercultural inquiry because Western/Eurocentric approaches tend to prevent researchers from more fully understanding different cultural aspects involved in educational phenomena (Hong, 2019). This methodological development builds on Lau’s (2016) intercultural phenomenological understanding, which challenges the Eurocentric tradition and tendency of phenomenology and promotes an intercultural and/or decolonizing phenomenological approach. This dissertation captures some of the tentative productions and manifestations of the phenomenon of the hegemonic insider-outsider in a teacher education course. My analysis shows how the hegemonic insider-outsider is produced as individual preservice teachers navigate various forms and levels of relationships, dominant discourses, oppressions, and marginalization. This study finds that the phenomenon of the hegemonic insider-outsider is constructed in multiple ways and levels as it is produced at the intersections of individual students’ positionalities, social systems, and structures.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2021. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisors: Ann Mason, Mark Vagle. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 326 pages.

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Hong, Younkyung. (2021). A Phenomenological Exploration of the Hegemonic Insider-Outsider in Teacher Education. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/224675.

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