Publication Date: December 21, 2000
Series: Practitioner Inquiry Series
This fascinating account details the story of two teacher-researchers—Jennifer, who is African American, and Karen, who is White—as they set out on a collaborative three year study to explore the impact of racial and cultural differences in Karen’s urban middle school classroom. Not anticipating that their own differences would become a threat to their project, the two women describe how they learn to confront and deal with the challenges they face so that they can work together. Their study presents the difficulties and importance of collaborations between teachers from different racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as keen insights into how race and culture evolve in teacher-student interactions.
Of particular interest is an interview with the authors by Lisa Delpit and Dr. Delpit's analysis of their experience. Teachers and researchers will also find valuable practical advice about conducting cross-cultural collaboration and suggestions for persevering during difficult times.
Jennifer E. Obidah is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, U.C. L. A. Since 1969 Karen Manheim Teel has been a classroom teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently is an adjunct faculty member at Holy Names College in Oakland, California.
"This book is an amazing story by two teachers—one Black and one White—who directly confront the boundary of race. They take readers on their joint journey through distrust, anger, and fear as they grapple with race in classroom teaching. Together, they build a bridge of trust, communication, and understanding, and in the process they teach the rest of us how to do this."
—Christine Sleeter, California State University, Monterey Bay
"Analyzing the complexities of race as it gets played out between teachers working together in an urban classroom is the centerpiece of this excellent publication. Jennifer and Karen’s forthrightness and the clarity of the discussion draw the reader in, and push them to ask, 'How would I do and what would I learn if I were Karen or Jennifer?'"
—Carl Grant, University of Wisconsin, Madison