Care, Control, and Color: A Conversation About Disparities in School Disciplinary Practices


school discipline; teacher-student relationships; culture of care; interactive interviewing; parallel stories

How to Cite

Wandix-White, D. (2020). Care, Control, and Color: A Conversation About Disparities in School Disciplinary Practices. Journal Of Curriculum Studies Research, 2(2), 81-97.


Disciplinary practices teachers use in their classrooms frequently result in life-altering consequences for students who are historically marginalized and struggling to meet normalized standards of academic success. Research suggests teachers often lack the skill needed to connect with students, manage their classrooms, and administer corrective action that is equitable, reasonable, and effective without being excessive and detrimental to the student’s future. This disconnection and lack of judgment is frequently attributed to 1) the cultural mismatch that exists between the majority U.S. teacher who is a young, White female, and the growing diverse population of students; 2) teachers’ deficit view of students of color, their families and communities; and 3) deficient pre-service teacher training that does not equip future teachers with the culturally relevant pedagogical skills needed to meet the needs of today’s students. Employing the qualitative research methods of interactive interviewing and parallel stories, an African American, veteran teacher and a young, White pre-service teacher explore the topic of disciplinary practices at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and a classroom culture of care in the k-12 U.S. classroom.