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ERIC Number: EJ1177657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0726-2655
The Myths of Who We Are: Meritocracy, Teachers, and Perceptions of Working-Class Family Histories
Lorsbach, Anthony W.; Lucey, Thomas A.
Education and Society, v33 n2 p65-83 2015
This research study interpreted family histories written by teachers enrolled in graduate programs in education in the United States. The family histories described feature ancestors from the working class. Though their family histories are characterized by poverty and unemployment, three of the four teachers interpreted their family histories as characteristic of the American myth of meritocracy. Further, these teachers, residing in the middle class, regard their own students from working class backgrounds as lacking a proper work ethic. The fourth teacher, who experienced situational poverty was more empathetic to the lives of working class students and developed an understanding of educational goals that exceed economic interests and include principles of social justice. Teacher compassion for the underprivileged may be guided by proximity to experiences that are similar to those of their students. Efforts to prepare teachers to be advocates for their students may require processes that evoke rationalities sourced within emotions of empathy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A