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Open Access Publications from the University of California

When Claiming to Teach for Social Justice is Not Enough: Majoritarian Stories of Race, Difference, and Meritocracy

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To understand how dominant messages about race and effective pedagogy impact teacherbeliefs and practice, this study employs critical race theory (CRT) in a case study analysis ofRebecca Rosenberg, a mid-career entrant into the teaching profession who was terminated fromher first job before the end of her district’s probationary period. Despite believing she wasteaching for social justice, being prepared in a program oriented toward social justice, and beinghired in a school with a comparable mission, Rebecca’s beliefs and practices affirmed uncriticalperspectives of the status quo regarding race, schooling, and social ascendance. This researchunderscores the substantial work to be done in preparing teachers to be reflective of theoverarching cultural myths and majoritarian stories that may guide their practice.

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