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ERIC Number: ED549307
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 158
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-7036-8
"Give Your Hands to Struggle": A Direction for the Liberation Journey of White Social Justice Educators
Ferguson, Mary R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
The racially-based academic achievement gap demonstrates that schools are not equally successful with all students. There are gaps in discipline; placement in remedial, gifted, and honors classes; assignment to special education programs; grade point averages; dropout and graduation rates as well as in funding and resources. The elimination of these gaps is a priority for some policy makers, educators, and parents. As these schools look to equip their teachers and administrators with tools to level the playing field, many have begun to put discussions of the impact of race on the table. Leaders for change are contemplating how a teaching force that is primarily White, female, middle class, and monolingual can achieve success with all students. Pre-service and graduate education programs have been responding by emphasizing social justice education in their preparation. Professional development activities are another response that targets the current teaching force. This qualitative research study examined the impact in two school districts of a professional development program focused on cultural and linguistic competence and culturally relevant pedagogy. The case study sought to identify the effects of year-long professional development activities on the social justice knowledge, dispositions, and practices of White educators. An understanding of the case was built through collection of survey data from participants in the professional development program and through focus group and individual interviews. Analysis of the data showed participants consistently categorized program outcomes in seven different ways: knowledge and information; awareness and perspective; confidence, courage, and support; conversations; relationships; engagement with social justice issues; and ambivalence, confusion, and struggle. The latter theme, rather than confounding the other outcomes, provided insight into the process of transformative change. By appreciating the struggle highlighted by White educators, the study was able to situate struggle as part of critical liberation theory. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A