Author Biographies

Dr. Becky Beucher is an Assistant Professor of Secondary Literacy Education, in the College of Education at Illinois State University. Beucher’s scholarship engages critical new materialist, embodied literacies, critical discourse analysis, and critical feminist, queer, and race theories towards decolonizing education spaces. Beucher centers minoritized youths’ voices and cultural knowledge.

Tisha Ortega is a high school Spanish teacher and the World Language Department Chair at University High School, of Illinois State University Laboratory School District. She is a doctoral student at Illinois State University. Research interests include LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, Visible Rhetoric use in the classroom, and culturally responsive teaching.

Grant Souder is a middle and high school music teacher and education doctoral student in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University. He is interested in connecting music to broad perspectives, student and teacher empowerment, and social justice through critically questioning systems and power dynamics.

Kimberly Martin-Boyd is currently a Middle School Assistant Principal and an education doctoral student in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University. Her research interests include preservice teacher education and the correlation between classroom environment and student achievement.

Katy Killian is currently an Assistant Director of Student Services and an education doctoral student in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University.


Spring 2021, undergraduate students across the country were entering their second year of obligatory online learning. This moment in time correlated with an increased attention to the Black Lives Matter movement by white youth and the mainstream public. This study, guided by a team of teacher educators committed to realizing racial justice in Secondary literacy education, designed and examined the impact of humanizing racial literacies curriculum taught through forced on learning on undergraduate pre-service teacher’s perspectives about anti-racist curriculum design. This study builds upon a growing body of research on realizing humanizing racial literacies in teacher education pedagogy. The curriculum sought to deconstruct binary racial orientations prevalent among the dominant teaching population in the United States attending a PWI. Class activities included: interrogating white supremacy, colonization, police brutality and violence through strategic text selection and humanizing pedagogical methods. Predominantly white pre-service teachers partnered with predominantly BIPOC high school students through online interactions to discuss themes related to racism, homophobia, sexism, and decolonialism. We used Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as our primary analytical framework for interpreting student discourse emergent across the data sources. Findings show how students navigated obstacles related to deconstructing their beliefs about the role of social media and student capacity for engaging critical literacies. And we highlight how pre-service teachers achieved pedagogical paradigm shifts related to these obstacles. Ultimately, through an intentionally redesigned class, teacher education candidates reflected on their learning related to realizing humanizing racial literacies over the course of the Spring 2021 academic semester.

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