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    Black and minority ethnic student teachers' stories as empirical documents of hidden oppressions: using the personal to turn towards the structural

    Warner, Diane (2022) Black and minority ethnic student teachers' stories as empirical documents of hidden oppressions: using the personal to turn towards the structural. British Educational Research Journal, 48 (6). pp. 1145-1160. ISSN 0141-1926

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    Abstract

    Racism, as a covert but pervasive presence in teacher education in England, remains a major structural issue and its effects on student teachers who are Black and Asian are real and troubling. Their personal stories reveal multiple challenges and present empirical evidence that can usefully be analysed to examine their experience of daily micro-aggressions and overt racisms in their teacher education and its effect on them. This paper focuses on the stories of three Black and Asian primary student teachers and argues that it is important to see these personal accounts as empirical documents of hidden oppressions because they are significant pointers towards larger, structural and unacknowledged fissures in initial teacher education (ITE). The critical race theory concept of ‘counter story’ is used to analyse the stories and make visible the way that hidden racisms within ITE can silence and disempower these student teachers. The three stories show that these Black and Asian student teachers portray nuance and confusion, wonder and loss of direction at times, alongside a portrayal that their identities are in flux due to the complex and contested discourses with which they are required to engage as minoritised ‘others’ in their teacher education. This study has important implications for teacher educators and senior managers in ITE and presents a challenge for active and sensitive anti-racist cultures to develop.

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