Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Language & Literacy

First Advisor

Susi Long

Second Advisor

Gloria Boutte


While the teaching population in the U.S. is predominantly (84%) White (National Council of Education Statistics, 2010), students of Color will comprise 41% of the total school population by the year 2020, with 67% in urban areas (NCES, 2010). Studies show that children of Color are regularly disenfranchised through inequitable instructional, curricular, and assessment school practices (Ladson-Billings, 2009). Achievement statistics also show that schools fail to serve African American students more than any other group (Gay, 2010). Colleges of education must take action. Addressing this problem, this study used qualitative methods to explore what happened when critical race theory conceptually guided a literacy methods course for preservice teachers. Findings indicate that while preservice teachers gained many insights about issues of race and racism, there were considerable tensions and challenges, such as White Talk (McIntyre, 1997), colorblind dispositions, and deflection strategies. The study looks at both the successes and struggles and draws conclusions about why they might have occurred and implications for teacher educators and the institutions in which they are employed.