Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Matthew D. Davis, Ph.D.


Beckwith, Lynn

Hassler, Thomasina

Hoagland, Carl


School districts have recognized the challenges that teachers face in building relationships with the students they teach. This can be especially true when the teacher is White and the students are people of color. This study is a follow-up to an intense, year-long professional development that a group of teachers experienced in 2012. Through interviews, six such participants were asked about their experiences in the classroom, the ways in which they felt they had grown because of the professional development, and ways that they had implemented what they learned in their classrooms. While the teachers had positive things to say about the training, and generally reported that they implemented specific strategies in order to better connect with their students, this study discusses whether the changes that the teachers reported in themselves were genuine, or if the conversation surrounding their experiences is a strategy to present a comfortable narrative for the public.

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Education Commons