Tierney B. Hinman: 0000-0003-3067-6282

Tess M. Dussling: 0000-0001-9190-1514

Nance S. Wilson: 0000-0001-7967-8284

Amy Tondreau: 0000-0003-4006-9697

Wendy Gardiner: 0000-0001-6355-7832

Sophie Degener: 0000-0002-6614-2541




With the need to prepare teacher candidates to work with an increasingly diverse student body in U.S. schools, a multi-institutional collaborative self-study group was formed to examine ways in which teacher educators could expand beyond practice-based literacy preparation to support candidates’ understanding and implementation of critical pedagogies. The self-study served as a catalyst for interrogating the identities the teacher educators brought to their practice and began a journey that transformed a focus on critical literacies into a commitment to action for change through anti-bias anti-racist work. This paper draws from group dialogue and reflective journals to examine specific practices implemented with teacher candidates to transform their practice by considering critical literacies, asset- and deficit-based language, and the identity work of teachers and students. Insights of the self-study suggest that attention to critical pedagogies must go beyond instructional activity to consider the habits of mind essential for cultivation to support a commitment to action for anti-bias anti-racist education. The paper concludes by examining these core habits of mind and their impact on the trajectory of the group’s work toward leveraging language and literacy for activism and justice in teacher education contexts.



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