White Disadvantage: The Effects of Racial Isolation on White Pre-Service Teachers

  • Shakeer A. Abdullah
  • Jose Ramon Llanes
  • Daniel Henry


This paper examines the preconceived attitudes toward cultural and racial diversity that preservice
teacher education students at a primarily white southern research institution bring with
them to class and how those preconceptions may impact their teaching and ability to integrate
into a school environment that is culturally different from their own. Using qualitative research
methods, the authors collected and analyzed written reflections from students throughout twelve
sections of an educational foundation course. The authors found evidence that pre-service
teachers had little understanding of the culture and behavior of African-American school
children and were at a disadvantage when working with this group. We call this “white
disadvantage.” On the basis of these findings, the authors make recommendations to increase the
students’ exposure to diverse environments (in which they are not the majority), in their
academic programs or through professional development in their teaching positions in order to
meet the state standards on teaching quality.

How to Cite
ABDULLAH, Shakeer A.; LLANES, Jose Ramon; HENRY, Daniel. White Disadvantage: The Effects of Racial Isolation on White Pre-Service Teachers. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 33-45, may 2015. ISSN 2166-2681. Available at: <https://isejournal.org/index.php/jise/article/view/123>. Date accessed: 01 june 2020.