Dr. Catherine Gatewood, vice-president of academic and student affairs at Anoka Technical College since July 2011, contributed to the book “Even the Janitor Is White,” by M. Gail Hickey and Brian K. Lanahan, which was published this summer.
Gatewood’s chapter, titled “Making the Uncomfortable Comfortable: How deliberate conversation and interaction among education majors can bring about more profound awareness of the self with regard to diversity” was written in collaboration Kenneth Hall to address challenges faced by teacher educators who are committed to diversity education.
“The idea for this book to help teacher educators came out of an impromptu conversation during a meeting of social studies teacher educators like myself from small colleges,” said Gatewood.
“We realized the lack of resources and help on the diversity for those preparing future teachers for their future classrooms.
“With the publication of this book, all of us contributors are simply grateful to see this information out there.
“Hopefully, it can help professors of social studies education prepare their students for the classrooms in which they will one day teach.”
According to the publisher, Peter Lang Publishing, more than 40 percent of students in U.S. schools are of non-white ethnicity, yet the majority of teachers are white and middle class.
Some teacher education students are resistant to conversations about race or ethnicity in the college classroom, while teacher educators may avoid initiating dialogues about race or ethnicity. U.S. teacher education programs, however, are charged with preparing culturally competent teachers, the publisher states.
According to Minnesota Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, 19.2 percent of the Anoka Technical College student population in 2011 was of non-white ethnicity.
Diversity however is not limited to color. It includes but is not limited to age, ethnic origin, national origin, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious beliefs, creeds and income.
MnSCU as a whole serves more students of color than any other higher education provider in Minnesota – 47,000 in 2010.
Gatewood holds a bachelor’s degree in history education at Saginaw Valley State University, a master’s degree in history at Central Michigan University and a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.