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ERIC Number: ED586870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 181
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-4380-1436-7
Reformed Christian Schooling and Whiteness: Examining White Supremacy and Identity in School Spaces and Parent Motivations
Leo, Sara
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
In this qualitative study, I examined how Whiteness and White supremacy are woven into the public identities of Reformed Christian schools as well as in parents' motivations for sending their children there. I constructed two different data sets. First, I spent time observing the public space of three different Reformed Christian elementary school buildings in a medium-sized city in the U.S. Midwest. I used the critical lens of public pedagogy to construct a curriculum of Whiteness at each school. Second, I conducted interviews with nine different sets of White parents who send their children to those schools (three from each school) about their motivations for choosing Christian schooling for their children as well as for choosing the specific school their children attend. I interpreted those interviews with the help of the psychoanalytic theories of narcissism and melancholia. I proposed that the public spaces of the three Reformed Christian elementary schools I visited reflected the curricula of conservatism, settler colonialism, and respectability politics. I proposed that White parents demonstrate a narcissistic commitment to Christian schooling and a melancholic engagement with issues of race and diversity that precludes an honest reckoning with both the White supremacist pedagogies of their children's school spaces as well as how Whiteness is embedded in their theology and personal identities. [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: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A