Scholars spend $500K in taxpayer funds to deconstruct whiteness in physics

Study shows ‘how privilege operates’ in undergraduate teaching, learning

Deconstructing whiteness in an introductory physics classroom may seem like a nonsensical goal, but according to a pair of critical whiteness scholars from Seattle Pacific University, this endeavor is actually an important step toward the larger undertaking of freeing students and professors alike from the weighty fetters of whiteness.

Funded through a $495,847 National Science Foundation grant, researchers Amy Robertson and W. Tali Hairston aim “to develop a knowledge base that could lead to awareness of how power relations may be embedded in the way physics is taught and learned.”

The two record introductory physics classes and interview participants, then analyze them using a critical whiteness theory lens “to show how privilege operates in undergraduate physics teaching and learning.”


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