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ERIC Number: ED562957
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-8301-1
"This Is How We Roll!": How "Successful" White Social Studies Teachers Build Solidarity with African American Students
Boucher, Michael Lee, Jr.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
Despite a decade of concentration on closing the pervasive achievement gap in America, White students and Black students still attend schools with unequal results. Many strategies aimed at closing the gap exist, including increasing the number of African American teachers, but the majority of urban teachers are White, which will remain the case for the foreseeable future. Because high school students report that White teachers who build relationships of solidarity with their African American students are uncommon, this qualitative case study focused on the counternarrative of these successful teachers. This ethnographic case study was designed to reveal how five successful White social studies teachers negotiate their teaching relationships with their African American students. The participants, from a midwestern de facto segregated urban district, were identified as successful teachers and chosen using a nomination process. They were observed in the classroom and interviewed using a photo elicitation technique that allowed them to theorize about their pedagogy, practice, student interactions, and whiteness. The interviews were then qualitatively analyzed for emerging themes. Two major themes emerged. First, these successful teachers were in the process of interrogating their whiteness through self-study of books, faculty development, and mentorship from African American adults. Second, they worked to create relationships of solidarity with students despite articulated narratives that expressed varying degrees of deficit modeling. These participants have shown that building solidarity in the classroom takes many small steps with a durable commitment to meeting students' needs. However, they also demonstrated a complex push and pull between empowerment and deficit models that can inhibit the goal of attaining solidarity. This study complicates existing essentialist beliefs that White teachers must entirely drop their deficit models or they will be unable to join in solidarity with their racially different students. This study also prioritizes building relationships of solidarity as an unambiguous goal for White teachers who seek to be successful in racially diverse classrooms. [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: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A