Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Michael B. Sherry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pat Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer R. Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


Counterstorytelling, Critical Race Consciousness, Critical Race English Education


English teacher educators argue the need to reshape English Education programs by offering transformative discussion that promote “Critical Race English Education” which centers race and racism and examines the role of language and literacy in disrupting existing power relations (Baker-Bell, Butler, & Johnson, 2017). This study explored four secondary English preservice teachers’ understandings of race in education under a Critical Race Theory lens. Through narrative inquiry, their stories revealed how they constructed and made meaning of their racial identities and how these identities informed their practices and instructional decisions as English teachers. By inviting preservice teachers to confront their experiences with race and racism in education, they were able to articulate and address key issues like whether and how they empower marginalized voices, validate out-of-school literacies/identities, remove linguistic barriers, and critique oppressive systems by reading and writing the world to consciously transform our realities (Freire, 1985). The findings demonstrated the importance of analyzing family influences on a prospective teacher’s racial and teacher identity and the urgency of developing racial literacy skills in English education. How we approach critical race consciousness has real implications towards teaching our marginalized students.