NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED551661
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 259
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2678-1024-3
In the Struggle for New Meanings in the Education of African American and Other Students of Color
Ford, Arlene Jennifer
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
This study used the mixed qualitative methodologies of ethnography and a participatory action research inspired inquiry to challenge deficit meanings and assumptions through increasing learning. During the inquiry, a group of teachers and administrators at each of two school sites engaged in a process of learning about systemic inequality and its impact on students of color through reading and discussions of scholarly articles. The educators engaged new meaning negotiations about their students of color and their education. Findings are that providing appropriate spaces for educator learning and reflection is very important. At one school site where the inquiry included educators of color and white educators, the white educators initially shifted away from focusing on important issues raised by their colleagues of color. Issues of race and power created barriers to real conversations, created silences and impeded learning. These barriers began to dissolve when one educator, with some support, took a stand and helped change the power imbalance in the group leading the group from contrived conversations to real conversations. Though sometimes contentious the real conversations led to increased learning even some evidence of transformational growth with potential for changes that could benefit the school's students of color. At the other school location, despite relative harmonious shared meaning negotiations, changed minds did not result in the immediate changed actions of this relatively homogenous group of educators of color. The context of that school with more institutionalized deficit-oriented cultural processes created challenges to growth. Nevertheless, this group received some tools for change, building a foundation for future change. The study initially identified some meanings at the two school sites. Findings indicated that (i) both white educators and educators of color held deficit meanings about students of color, and (ii) such educators also held resourced-oriented/asset-based meanings. Such positive meanings had the potential for forming the basis for building student learning. This study documented important learning processes that may be involved when power differentials exist within a group as they attempted to negotiate new meanings around education. [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