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ERIC Number: EJ1103873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1946-7109
Critical Practitioner Inquiries: Re-Framing Marginalized Spaces for Black Students
West-Burns, Nicole; Murray, Karen
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v13 n1 p60-64 Spr 2016
In classroom spaces on a daily basis, students are encouraged to express who they are as learners and demonstrate their own understanding of their learning. Students' ability to contribute to their own learning is an essential characteristic of an engaging classroom space and supports high academic achievement. The authors' work highlights one initiative that explores and attempts to re-frame historically marginalized spaces. This kindergarten through grade 12 initiative of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) was named "Improving the Achievement of Black Students." The TDSB is one of the first school boards in Ontario to explore disaggregated census data, focusing on student demographics and achievement. Although the authors are still collecting data in regard to the inquiry work and the perspectives of the educators in the professional learning, they have gathered some artifacts and journal entries of significance that speak to notions of space and re-framing a classroom space to empower students. Several educators within this early years initiative used the opportunity for professional inquiry to push back against dominant narratives and hierarchies within their classroom spaces. This paper presents examples of inquiries in which educators engaged with these notions through curricular content, for instance by creating space to explore abilities and racial identities while others engaged in this work with a focus on the voice of Black students and their families as a part of their classrooms. The process of re-framing required that educators reflect on the resources, curriculum, modes of classroom instruction, and the voices that are heard and valued in the classroom. What they found when they asked their questions is that marginalized spaces can be re-framed to be schooling spaces that honor student voice, knowledge, multiliteracies, and families.
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 1; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A