Exploring teachers’ beliefs and feelings about race and police violence

Adam Alvarez, H. Richard Milner IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors analyzed White teachers’ open-ended responses to three critical items on the Teachers’ Race Talk Survey (TRTS). The authors focused on: (1) teachers’ beliefs about the importance of discussing race in the classroom with their students; (2) teachers’ feelings of preparedness to have race conversations in the classroom with their students; and (3) teachers’ beliefs about discussing, in class, police violence against Black people. Findings showed that while most White teachers believed race was important to discuss in order to unlearn and disrupt their prior beliefs, the majority described fear as a primary factor for feeling unprepared to actually discuss race in the classroom. Despite their beliefs about the importance of race, teachers’ beliefs about police violence against Black bodies reflect a color-blind approach by either viewing police violence as a natural occurrence or minimizing the role that race plays. To continue developing teachers’ critical knowledge related to race, the authors discuss implications for examining the quality of race-centered curriculum in teacher education programs and they pose broader questions related to the evolving knowledge base for teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalTeaching Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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