Date of Award

Winter 1-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Urban Education Degree


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Galletta, Anne

Second Advisor

Catherine A. Hansman

Third Advisor

Tachelle Banks


In a qualitative narrative study of 11 urban teacher education faculty who teach courses that prepare teacher candidates for field immersions in metro-urban schools, I problematized “whiteness” by asking participants what it meant to them in the contexts of their work in contact zones were teacher candidates and K-12 students meet. The research was shaped as an abolitionist justice project (Tuck & Yang, 2018, p. 8) and considered how “whiteness” might be deconstructed and decentered in urban teacher education. Participants described whiteness as both fixed phenotype and historical and social construct which causes harm and which requires intervention. In scenarios where the harm of whiteness was mitigated for non-white K-12 students and teacher candidates, participants described themselves in supportive rather than authoritative educational roles. The study reflects upon what might constitute one or more forms of abolitionist praxis which might have the utility to dismantle systemic white supremacy as well as to cease and desist in the oppression of children.