White Bread

Anniversary Edition


Accompany Jessica on a journey into her family’s past, into herself, and into the bicultural students she teaches but does not understand. Jessica, a fictional White fifth-grade teacher, is prompted to explore her German-American family history by the unexpected discovery of a hundred-year-old letter. White Bread pulls readers into a tumultuous six months of Jessica’s life as she confronts many issues that turn out to be interrelated: Why does she know so little about her German-American family’s past? Why are the Latino teachers advocating for Raza Studies, and what does that mean? Can she become the kind of teacher who sparks student learning?

The storyline alternates between past and present, acquainting readers with German-American communities in the Midwest during the late 1800s and early 1900s, portraits based on detailed historic excavation. What happened to these communities gives Jessica the key to unlock answers to questions that plague her.

White Bread can be read simply for pleasure. It can also be used in teacher education, ethnic studies, and sociology courses. Beginning teachers may see their own struggles reflected in Jessica’s classroom. People of European descent might see themselves within, rather than outside, multicultural and ethnic studies. White Bread might also launch family history research.

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Christine Sleeter, Ph.D. (1982), University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Professor Emerita at California State University Monterey Bay. She has published over 150 articles and 24 books about antiracial multicultural education, ethnic studies, and teacher education.
"Christine Sleeter's books are a must read for all educators. The books encourage readers to grapple with key issues surrounding education, including what it means to create humanizing schools and classrooms, challenge problematic Eurocentric narratives, and learn and teach in ways that advance justice and democracy." ~ The SoJo Journal

Chapter 1: August 2012
Chapter 2: August 2012
Chapter 3: August 2012
Chapter 4: May 1883
Chapter 5: September 2012
Chapter 6: October 1879
Chapter 7: September 2012
Chapter 8: October 2012
Chapter 9: October 2012
Chapter 10: July 1884
Chapter 11: October 2012
Chapter 12: October 2012
Chapter 13: October 1885
Chapter 14: October 2012
Chapter 15: October 2012
chapter 16: April 1889
Chapter 17: October 2012
Chapter 18: June 1893
Chapter 19: November 2012
Chapter 20: November 2012
Chapter 21: November 2012
Chapter 22: August 1895
Chapter 23: November 2012
Chapter 24: September 1897
Chapter 25: November 2012
Chapter 26: March 1896
Chapter 27: November 2012
Chapter 28: May 1898
Chapter 29: November 2012
Chapter 30: December 2012
Chapter 31: January 2013
Chapter 32: July 1906
Chapter 33: January 2013
Chapter 34: May 1912
Chapter 35: February 2013
Chapter 36: May 1918
Chapter 37: February 2013
Chapter 38: February 2013

Using White Bread in a Course for Preservice Teachers
Author’s Note
About the Author
Early career teachers and preservice teachers, anyone interested in German-American history, anyone interested in family history research, and anyone interested in thinking critically about what it means to be white.
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