Debating Racism During Initial Teacher Education: A Case Among Chemistry Students

Wilmo Ernesto Francisco Junior, Erasmo Moises dos Santos Silva


Discussions on racism in classrooms pose a huge educational challenge today, since racism has become naturalized within society, and racial issues are rarely addressed in science teacher education courses. Considering the social problems originated from racism, this paper discusses some aspects of them through a dialogical activity conducted among students in a chemistry teacher-training course. In order to engage the students in the dialogue, a poem that enable discussing social and scientific issues was chosen and had been set to music. At the first part of the discussion, only one student took the poem’s key message as referring to racism. This seems to be directly related to the poor discussion of this topic within society. Through interactive discourse characterized by integrated transition between dialogic and authoritative communicative approaches, a common viewpoint about racism was achieved by all participants, including students who had not identified the matter in the poem initially. Although isolated activities are not enough to consistently develop teachers’ beliefs and attitudes against racism, the findings suggest that discursive movement can encourage critical thinking about this. 


dialogue; poem; racism; chemistry teacher education.

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