Author Biography

Jamie Silverman is a lecturer in the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education at Towson University. She also serves as a PDS Liaison for teacher candidates during their internship year.

Jessica Shiller is an assistant professor of education in the Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development at Towson University.


To create an equitable and ethical learning environment in the classroom requires teacher candidates (TCs) to develop positive relationships with students and to reflect on who they are. Using the elements of Richard Milner’s (2007) Framework of Researcher Racial and Cultural Positionality, this article presents an account of an innovative practice in how to engage secondary education TCs in a reflection of implicit biases, and how to interrupt them to become more ethical professionals. This article takes InTASC 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice as a point of departure and describes how a new teacher mentor piloted a series of exercises for majority white TCs to embark on self-reflection in their internship experiences in the secondary education classroom. In particular, they examined their cultural identities and how they may have developed into implicit biases that influenced their classroom management, planning, and instruction during their full-time internships. The impact of this reflective process moved beyond the self-reflection of TCs’ ethical practices and shifted to an outward look at mentor and school-wide ethical practice. An overview of the pilot to address ethical practice is provided.