Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

4-28-2015

Graduate Advisor

Matthew D. Davis, PhD

Committee

Elizabeth Kellogg

Carl Hoagland

Keith MIller

Abstract

This autoethnographical narrative chronicles the awakening and subsequent conscientization of a middle-class white female teacher through critical reflective praxis. Autoethnography, Liberation Theory and Critical Race Theory (CRT) are used in this study, allowing the researcher to become the focal point of the story. The narrative details the journey in retrospect, revealing the evolution of my conscientization. The research statements guiding this dissertation are as follows: this autoethnographical narrative details the peeling back of the awakening and critical consciousness developed by a white female teacher using Liberation Theory and aided by CRT and Care Ethic Theory as I interrogate each layer looking for insight into the complex construct of the inequities in education, with regard to white teachers and students of color. This study purposes bringing the care construct to teacher training to soften the existing violence caused by internalized racism in the classroom for both students of color and white teachers. This study illuminates the complexity of the Care Ethic construct while connecting the transformative journey of the researcher to the reader, yielding a better understanding of care in education and uncovering the common experiences of white middle-class teachers that shape the in group identity of all teachers. The findings show that a teacher’s identity is developed and shares many characteristics with the in group mentality. The identification of the in group mentality will pinpoint my cultural mis-education, which can provide a change in my identity, leading to a more equitable classroom. The findings will also provide a process and voice that may lead other teachers to uncover their hidden curriculum, allowing for an attitudinal shift as a catalyst for educational equity.

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