International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

DOI: 10.61494/ijspe

Mapping the Terrain of Whiteness in Education Policy: A Scoping Literature Review

Rachel Piontak & Anna Zajicek


Since 2021, although often ill-defined and used as a tool of inflammatory rhetoric, critical race theory, white privilege, and/or intersectionality have been defined as “divisive concepts.”Several states introduced and/or implemented anti-divisive concepts or anti-DEI educational policies. Embedded in these policies are normative whiteness ideologies. This scoping review of 39 articles examines the use of critical whiteness lenses in state and federal education policy analyses.While most articles examine affirmative action and race-conscious admissions policies, others focus on anti-divisive concepts and related curriculum legislation. The articles note that whiteness as property, emotionalities of whiteness, and manipulated discourse are the primary ways in which whiteness is embedded and reproduced in educational policies. This study provides valuable insight into the reproduction of whiteness in education policy and, in so doing, highlights knowledge gaps to be addressed through future scholarship.