Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Keisha L. Green

Second Advisor

Linda Griffin

Third Advisor

Aline Gubrium

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry


The pervasive whiteness of our current teacher workforce and the educational inequities which exist and disproportionately impact students and communities of color in current US schooling must be considered as the product of centuries of racist practices and policies. Critical multicultural and culturally responsive and sustaining approaches have done much to shift deficit perspectives and engage in the systemic nature of racism; however, such approaches have largely had to respond to implications of longstanding disrespect and lack of recognition of students of color, born from past and present beliefs and practices rooted in whiteness and white supremacy. Much of the research focuses on preparing white teachers for majority communities of color. However, in order to disrupt whiteness and white supremacy, we must consider the urgency of developing and enacting antiracist approaches in predominantly white spaces as well. Preparing antiracist teachers can contribute to a more nurturing school culture that decenters whiteness, and which is academically and emotionally safe for students of color residing in or attending schools in predominantly white contexts. This critical case study, conducted with fourteen white teacher candidates, explores how fourteen preservice teachers in a university-based English methods course understood and experienced an educational intervention centered in critical whiteness and digital storytelling pedagogies. Both design and implementation of this study intended to provide teacher candidates with pedagogical tools that they might translate into their own work with future students. Findings from this study reveal digital storytelling served to amplify participants’ critical (white) racial literacy development and provided opportunities for them to integrate this knowledge development, persist through difficult emotions, practice critical (emotional) reflexivity, and enact accountability and agency. If educators and the field of teacher education are to answer the call for antiracism in this current moment and beyond, we must be willing to engage in approaches that reckon with white supremacy’s past and the myriad of ways that it continues to influence the present. When adjoined, critical whiteness and digital storytelling pedagogies can provide the foundational and pedagogical knowledge and practices with which to build an antiracist teaching praxis.


Available for download on Sunday, May 26, 2024